There’s just over two weeks to go to sign a petition that could help deliver an extra 238 million meals to people in need across the country. Sue Hayward, Press and PR Manager for End Hunger UK coalition member FareShare, explains why the government should ‘feed people first’.

FareShare, the UK’s largest food charity, has launched Feed People First to ask the Government to offset the costs of charitable food redistribution (which could include repacking, harvesting, transporting, storage and handling) so that 100,000 tonnes of food could be used for people in need. By doing this, UK charities could be saved £150m, savings which they could reinvest into their services – but the deadline is 3 May!

Every year at least 270,000 tonnes of good food is wasted in UK food production. This is because for food manufacturers, processors and packers, it can be more expensive to redistribute good quality surplus food to the charities which support the 8.4 million people in the UK who go hungry, than it is to send it to other processes of disposal.

FareShare Chief Executive Lindsay Boswell said: “It’s completely wrong that we have a situation where it’s cheaper to send thousands of tonnes of good edible food to anaerobic digestion plants or to animal feed, when there are millions of people experiencing food insecurity and regularly skipping meals across the UK right now.

“FareShare redistributes just 5% of the available surplus food, but with that we help feed half a million people a week – so just imagine what we could do with 100,000 tonnes. This is what France already does, and we know we can do it here too.

“Food waste is something that no one wants, especially when there is a simple solution, so we urge everyone to sign the petition and help feed people first,” Lindsay said.

FareShare currently redistributes around 13,500 tonnes of good quality surplus food to nearly 7,000 charities such as hospices, homeless shelters, children’s breakfast clubs and women’s refuges.

Click here to sign the Feed People First petition now.

End Hunger UK does not believe that distributing surplus food alone can be the solution to food poverty, but we call on the Government to do what it can to support emergency food provision.