Heart of England Co-op gave 140,000 meals to those in need during 2022

'Our link-up with FareShare Midlands not only helps people in our communities but also the environment'

Heart of England Co-op has been thanked for its role in fighting food poverty and hunger after surplus food from its convenience stores provided over 140,000 meals for people struggling with the cost of living.

The food redistributed by the charity FareShare Midlands charity from the co-op’s stores weighed 58,80 kg – and saving it from the waste bin prevented 92.8 tonnes of CO2 emissions. 

The figures are revealed in the charity’s annual impact report for August 2021 – July 2022.

Simone Connolly, CEO of FareShare Midlands, said: “The cost of living crisis we’re facing means more people are having to turn to local charities for support, and the demand for FareShare food is rising fast. 

“Heart of England Co-op is a longstanding and valued partner of ours. By diverting surplus food from its stores to us, we’ve been able to redistribute enough food to support 140,000 meals for people who right now are struggling to afford to eat.

“We’re hugely grateful to them for their commitment to reducing food waste and supporting their local communities.”

She added: “In the UK, food waste accounts for between six and seven per cent of total greenhouse gas emissions, with an estimated two million tonnes of perfectly edible food needlessly wasted on UK farms and in factories every year, instead of being sent to charities and community groups.”

The food supplied by the Heart of England consists of good quality products that can no longer be sold. Perfectly edible bread, fruit and vegetables are packaged up at the end of each day and collected for onward distribution to FareShare Midlands. 

Steve Browne, general manager of the society’s food division, said: “Our link-up with FareShare Midlands not only helps people in our communities but also the environment. This report clearly underlines the enormous value of our partnership with FareShare. 

“I would like to thank all colleagues who have been involved in and continue to support this initiative. We’ve just opened our 37th food store located in Bedworth and it too will be part of this fantastic project.”

FareShare Midlands is the region’s largest food redistribution charity, fighting food poverty and hunger by tackling waste. It relies on an army of volunteers to send food to 550 frontline charities, such as school breakfast clubs, community centres and organisations supporting those who are homeless, unemployed, socially isolated and recovering from addiction. 

These organisations provide meals and food parcels to more than 60,000 vulnerable people every week.

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