The decision to launch the campaign earlier than planned comes amid concerns about the security of food supply to the charity, which in recent weeks has seen a 30% reduction as a result of the ongoing HGV driver crisis.
Julian Mines, FareShare South West CEO says, “We knew that this winter would present challenges, with the rising cost of living, the complete end to furlough, and with the reduction in universal credit. That is why we planned to run the FoodStock 2021 operation, boosting levels of food reaching those most in need in the winter months. However, with the additional challenges created by the HGV driver crisis, and with our expectation that this disruption will remain for some time, it is clear that the scale of our FoodStock 2021 operation will need to be more significant, and that we may need more support from food businesses than we had previously expected.
The emergency food that we aim to amass as part of the operation, along with the increased funds the campaign will generate, will mean we can both bolster deliveries to organisations working with the most vulnerable over winter, as well as being confident in our abilities to continue our regular operations, ensuring frontline settings receive food from us consistently, which they can then provide to their end users.”
FareShare South West is seeking local food businesses to support them with surplus food or food donations at scale in the coming two months.
The charity is also appealing to those in the food or haulage industries who might be able to help distribute food.
Julian Mines continues: “With our aim to get food for 1 million meals out to those most in need this winter, we’re relying on the support of the food industry – who know only too well the challenges faced at present. That food could support in excess of 40,000 vulnerable people, making a significant difference and we’re determined to achieve that goal in a year where need is so high.”
The hub for the FoodStock 2021 operation, with the stock pile of ambient food and infrastructure to deliver it, will be based out of FareShare South West’s temporary warehouse, a former beds warehouse in Ashton Gate, with deliveries from the warehouse expected to start as soon as 1st November.