FareShare IOI Launches in Stormont and first Depot Officially opens in Belfast

FareShare Community Food Network for the Island of Ireland launches with it's first depot in Belfast.
FareShare sources surplus food to combat poverty in local communities

FareShare Community Food Network for the Island of Ireland launches with first depot in Belfast
FareShare sources surplus food to combat poverty in local communities

‘ Council for the Homeless NI launched an all-Ireland community food network scheme, through which it will redirect surplus ‘fit for purpose’ food from manufacturers and suppliers to disadvantaged people across Ireland.

The organisation aims to reduce both food poverty and food waste by providing a distribution network for high quality food that would otherwise go to landfill and delivering it to groups which support vulnerable people in society.

Speaking at the charity’s launch event at Stormont on 1st November, Alison Upton, Development Officer for FareShare IOI said, “For several reasons throughout the supply chain, perfectly good food often goes to waste. This could be as a result of a delivery problem, a simple error in packing or delivery, or due to excess production quantities during the early stages of product development. FareShare IOI is built around the ethos that no good food should be wasted. Our service helps address two key issues by supporting people in need while at the same time reducing the environmental impact of food companies.”

FareShare IOI’s first depot in Belfast is currently operational, marking the beginning of a network that will expand in coming months to see FareShare support communities throughout all of Northern Ireland and then all of the Island. Alison continued, “We work with manufacturers and retailers to ensure any surplus food meets strict industry food safety standards. We then receive the product into our depot and distribute it to our members, who represent groups such as the homeless, families suffering hardship, the elderly, those who are excluded, have addiction problems, or have no access to means of support.”

Currently 35 organisations benefit from the FareShare IOI community food network Belfast pilot  including  East Belfast Mission, the Welcome Centre in West Belfast, the Ormeau Centre and Sure Start, an initiative which supports families. By bringing on board more local food companies these numbers can grow to 45 by March next year in the greater Belfast area and allow for  further distribution in the North and West .

“We are encouraged by the level of support we’ve received from the local food industry to date but would encourage businesses to speak to us about becoming part of this mutually beneficial scheme. By redirecting quality food, local companies can not only reduce their level of waste and subsequent impact on the environment, but importantly, can also provide valuable support to those who need it most. Equally we would urge community groups who would like to find out about becoming part of the FareShare IOI network to contact us. Members not only benefit from the food provided, but also other resources such as life skills training in safe food preparation,” Alison concludes.

Organisations can find out more about how to become part of the FareShare IOI food community network by contacting 02890 246440 or emailing [email protected]  

FareShare Island of Ireland is supported by the Food Standards Agency,  the Esmeé Fairbairn Foundation, Sodexo, Garfield Weston , Public Health Agency, Ardbarron Trust, DOE through WRAP and SafeFood

FareShare Island of Ireland is operated by Council for the Homeless Northern Ireland (CHNI) under licence granted by FareShare UK

Last updated 5 years 7 months ago by Alison Upton