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How Food Banks Work

An Interview with Ian Townsend-Blazier, Business Development Manager of FareShare Kent

Today, we Skyped Ian Townsend-Blazier from FareShare Kent and he told us about the problems with food waste and how the company distribute their goods across the whole of Kent to less privileged families and other charity and community  groups.

FareShare and The Family Food Bank distribute many different types and sizes of boxes; there is the large box which provides 60 meals for two adults and two children in need. These 60 meals are held for around five days with three meals per day, breakfast, lunch and a dinner. The large boxes can be made from under £5. There are also small and interim boxes which are the same just they support fewer people. The small box is mainly for 2-3 people whereas the interim box is for only one individual. The company distribute over 80 boxes a week.

Last year FareShare had a total of 62 volunteers, many of these people where just from the general public, but others were from community payback schemes and disability centres.

Last year the total of food given out was equal to the weight of 18 double decker buses. Ian Townsend-Blazier also told us that on average a family will throw out an eye-watering £470 of food each year in food waste.

The main items that people throw away each year are bread, vegetables, foods that are going out of date and fruit because food companies like supermarkets don’t like to sell the misshapen produce.

A great way to reduce food waste is to make soups with leftover that would otherwise go in the bin

So that FareShare can monitor the food they are distributing you have to become a member first. You can become a member for free but FareShare comes along and checks you are in a position to need food. They do this to make sure they aren’t just giving away all the food and have enough to support the people and organisations who really need it.

In the UK many people go without enough food. There are around 8.4 million people that don’t have all three meals a day; this is around the population of the whole of London.  To conclude the interview Ian Blazier-Townsend showed us around the FareShare warehouse and all the produce they had received that day. Overall we learnt more about how much waste we really are making and how to reduce it. It was an amazing experience and has made us really think about the food that we needlessly throw away each year.  To learn more about their work, how much they enjoy it or to become a volunteer please visit: www.faresharekent.org.uk

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