FareShare volunteers hold Neighbourhood Food Collection in Leicester city centre

By Luke Cowley

FareShare volunteers gathered in Leicester City Centre yesterday, Thursday December 1, to hold their second Neighbourhood Food Collection of the year for people in need.

Volunteers for the popular charity handed out ‘shopping lists’ of suggested food donations to people in the street and collected donations they may have, all while spreading Christmas cheer.

The collection was in conjunction with Tesco and the Trussell Trust, with Tesco promising to ‘top up’ all donations by up to 30%.

Ryan Garner, 31, General Assistant at Tesco and volunteer for FareShare, said: “We are here to help gather food and money for those in need.

“I was homeless at the age of just 17 and I’ve been in the situation where I was sleeping under a slide, not knowing when my next good meal or night’s sleep was going to come from, so I know how much of a massive difference this can make to people.

“Sometimes when you’re there, you think you’re stuck – but with a little push everyone can make something of themselves. Nobody is alone.”

The charity, that aims to relieve food poverty and reduce food waste in the UK, takes food that would otherwise go to waste and redistributes it across the UK to over 2000 charity and community groups, including homeless shelters and women’s refuges.

As a charity, they provided over 4,650 projects with enough food for 21.9m meals last year, while in 2014, FareShare East Midlands collected 375 tonnes of food for those in need, a substantial increase on the 205 collected the previous year.

Ryan added: “People may not realise the true amount of positive impact these collections have.

“The differences something like this can make to people are vast and we’re building people up for the future.”

Between December 1 and 3, people can donate long-life food to their local Tesco store to help some of the 8.4m people in the UK that are struggling to afford to eat.

Laura Parker, lead assistant for the Neighbourhood collection, said: “Everything that somebody can do, helps us, and the people we aim to assist, massively.

“The smallest act can make a huge difference.”

For more information on FareShare, or to volunteer at the Neighbourhood Food Collection 2017, visit www.fareshare.org.uk.

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