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Asda funds three new vans for FareShare Northern Ireland

FareShare Northern Ireland staff and volunteers.

FareShare Northern Ireland has added three new Asda-funded vans to its fleet, giving the charity capacity to provide 300,000 additional meals to vulnerable and low-income people a year.

Based in Newtownabbey, it is one of the regional centres of FareShare UK, and reduces food waste by diverting quality, surplus food within the supply chain to more than 115 frontline community groups and charities across Northern Ireland. Projects include homeless hostels, school breakfast clubs, rehabilitation centres and lunch clubs for older people.

The new vans will afford the charity extra capacity to recruit up to 35 new local charities and community groups in the next year. FareShare estimates the food it provides to these frontline organisations could reach an additional 3,700 people at risk of hunger across the region – increasing the number of beneficiaries served by 30% over the next year.

Currently, around 85,000 children across Northern Ireland – equivalent to one in five – are living in poverty*, and the need for FareShare’s service has never been higher.

Asda funded the vans as part of Fight Hunger Create Change, its partnership with FareShare and the Trussell Trust which aims to support one million people in poverty across the UK. Over the course of three years, Asda is investing over £20m to enable both charities to invest in infrastructure and offer more fresh food and crucial support and advice to people in need.

“Fareshare has been fighting hunger and food waste across Northern Ireland for nine years, and in that time our impact has grown immeasurably – we’re now on average diverting more than eight tonnes of good surplus food to frontline charities each week,” said Declan McKillop, manager at FareShare Northern Ireland. “Last year alone we provided enough food to create over 800,000 meals for people in need.

“But we know there is a demand for more support, with many families living hand-to-mouth and some 85,000 children in Northern Ireland growing up below the poverty line – which is why we welcome Asda’s investment.

“If you would like to get involved and support, either by donating or volunteering, please get in touch. Just £1 can help FareShare to provide a meal for a family of four, and a few hours of your time helping in our warehouse can make a real difference.”

George Rankin, Asda senior director for Northern Ireland, said: “As part of the Fight Hunger Programme, we are really proud to have been able to invest in the infrastructure and essential services both FareShare and the Trussell Trust provide and by bringing the charities together, we can help thousands of vulnerable people all across Northern Ireland access good quality fresh food.

“Our long-term goal through the partnership is to make sure nobody goes hungry by changing the face of food poverty in the UK”.

For more information and to find out how you can support FareShare, visit www.fareshare.org.uk.

*Department for Communities, Poverty: https://www.communities-ni.gov.uk/articles/poverty

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