• Chris Ellis

Fare Share, We Share - South West

Let me take you back 8 weeks ago. Sat staring at a laptop screen with faces in boxes staring back like we are all on an episode of Celebrity Squares. Everyone with the same question rattling around their minds “We have all these people in need but where do we get the food from?”

Maintaining a steady supply of food has always been challenging aspect of running a food bank with many relying on donations at supermarkets and odd bits and pieces being donated from local businesses. All food banks rely on outside funding to be able to purchase food to make up a food parcel for someone in need. However, nothing can prepare you for demand doubling and supply’s running dry essentially overnight.

Welcome to the dilemma Torbay Food Alliance members faced just 8 weeks ago! When lockdown was initiated I don’t think there was a single person that didn’t feel the effect of panic buying at the supermarkets. What people didn’t realise was how much of an impact this would have on the food banks. With almost instantaneous restrictions put on purchase amounts not only at supermarkets but also wholesalers and donations all but drying up, food banks were left with twice the demand and no supply of food!

Over the next few weeks everyone involved worked frantically to find a supplier able to meet the need of 12 organisations and hundreds of people in need of food. Although there had been highs and lows with trying to obtain this food the guys rallied together and manage to provide consistent food parcels and meals to those in need!

Although we had managed to source a supply of food, it was not consistent and was costing the Alliance a small fortune. This is when my outlook pinged with an email that would bring positive change to the Alliance. This email bared the name Shelley Wright, Fare Share. Upon reading this email it brought me joy like I had just broken the seal on a new toy at Christmas (Yes, I am a man child that still enjoys toys at Christmas).

Since that first email hit my inbox I cannot fault Shelley and Fare Share in any way what so ever. When you sit there and see the words “We have allocated a pallet of 600kg of food to you” you can’t help but light up and breath a sigh of relief. A round trip to Bristol later and we took delivery of an incredible array of food. It is safe to say that the members that benefited from this food and those in need will be well stocked!

We have not been fortunate enough benefit from Fare Share to its full capacity in Devon and it is instances like this that just go to show how much they are needed here. Torbay Food Alliance is now awaiting its third collection on Monday and I don’t think people could be happier. We hope this will be the start of a long and happy relationship between the Alliance and Fare Share.

Torbay Food Alliance would like to thank Fare Share for everything they have done for us over the last few weeks and in particular Shelley for making all of this happen.

We hope to have a long and lasting relationship with Fare Share South West

Take the time to have a look at the fantastic work Fare Share do across the South West!

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