That is the equivalent of 391,762 meals. Across the UK, FareShare redistributed more than 132 million meals, or four meals every second.
FareShare takes delivery of surplus good-to-eat food, which is unsold or unwanted by the food industry, sorts it in one of its 30 regional warehouses, and passes it onto a network of nearly 11,000 charities and charity groups.
These organisations then turn this food into meals for vulnerable families and individuals, many of whom are struggling with unemployment, low income, debt, homelessness, family break up, dependency or other issues.
FareShare’s annual statistics show it supplied an average of 2,538,276 meals every week to people struggling to get enough to eat in 2020/21, double the amount it redistributed in 2019/20 (1,097,147 meals).
Of the 10,542 charities and community groups FareShare supports through its network, with 46 of them based in Peterborough, nine in 10 say they have experienced unprecedented demand for food throughout the pandemic.
Each of these organisations received an average of 5.2 tonnes of food via FareShare - the equivalent of 12,530 meals - an increase of 139 per cent compared to 2019/20.
Lindsay Boswell, FareShare’s CEO, said: “These figures show the scale of just how many people have been struggling to get enough to eat during the last year in Peterborough and all across the UK.
“Our warehouses, staff, volunteers and our network of charities have been working flat out to support the millions of people and families who are going hungry. But just because the lockdown is easing doesn’t mean people won’t still be struggling. Our charities tell us need is still high, and our work continues.”
FareShare is calling on government and industry to do much more to stop needless food waste as part of a green post-pandemic recovery.