Since Boris Johnson announced lockdown in the third week of March, Fareshare Sussex has been swamped with new people and projects requesting food.
The number of vulnerable people thrown in to food poverty because they have lost their jobs is greater than anyone at the charity foresaw. Residents of Brighton and Hove have watched helplessly as their regular income dries up. They have no money for food, rent or other essential items and there’s often a delay receiving benefits.
Many of the community groups and charities that FareShare Sussex supplies with food have stepped up to deal with the situation. Multiple new organisations have been set up by concerned local residents in direct response to the needs of their local communities. One thing they all have in common is that they need more food. They have asked FareShare Sussex to supply them with extra food and the charity is determined to rise to the challenge.
Rob Orme, Chief Executive said: “In response to this crisis we have streamlined everything we do in order to get the maximum amount of food out to the most vulnerable in our communities.
“We have been inundated with surplus food – as the hospitality industry was closed down and some shops had to dispose of their food, we stepped in to bring that food to our warehouses and avoid it being sent to landfill. We knew we had the resources to get this surplus food to the people who needed it most.”
“Our dedicated team of volunteers and staff have never been so busy. We are all determined to respond to the need that this crisis has identified.
“Five weeks into the lockdown, we have developed sustainable, safe systems that mean we can continue to provide those who need it with good quality food.
“We don’t expect this crisis to end anytime soon so we are planning to keep on doing what we do best – ensuring vulnerable people are fed.”
Food donations from the food industry and from the general public have kept coming ever since. The demand for this food by vulnerable people is ongoing. FareShare Sussex are sending out an additional 9 tonnes of food to vulnerable people every week, on top of the 12 tonnes a week they were distributing before the coronavirus hit the South East, 21 tonnes of food to feed 12,000 people every week.
FareShare Sussex operate in three warehouses in Moulsecoomb, Brighton. They are now looking for a fourth warehouse in which they can store their food. If you would like to help them raise funds to do this, you can make a donation here.
FareShare Sussex redistributes surplus food to charities and community groups who provide frontline services to vulnerable people. We do this with an army of 150 volunteers who sort and deliver the food using refrigerated vans. The charity operates across Brighton and Hove, East Sussex, West Sussex and Surrey.