A food distribution charity has opened a new warehouse in order to provide an additional 480,000 meals to vulnerable people across the county.
FareShare Kent - the local branch of the UK’s largest food redistribution charity - has re-located to a larger premises in Ashford in order to increase food provision and reach a further 56 causes each year.
The charity saves good quality surplus food from landfill and diverts it to community groups and projects including homeless hostels, women's refuges, hospices and school breakfast clubs.
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Officials cut the ribbon to the new warehouse in the Ashford Business Park, Sevington yesterday to celebrate its launch, which will enable the charity to support 50% more people across Kent.
Ian Townsend-Blazier, development manager at FareShare Kent, said: “The charity currently saves 6 tonnes of food from waste each week, which in turn helps to provide around 14,000 meals to people in need – an astonishing figure which shows our commitment to fighting hunger and food waste.
“Each week we help to feed thousands at risk of hunger in our communities, but we know demand for our support is rising - which is why we welcome Asda’s generous investment.
“We’re grateful we are in a position to help more people, and if you would like to get involved either by donating, providing food or registering as a charity member, we encourage you to get in touch.”
Listen: Development manager Ian Townsend-Blazier talks about launch of the new warehouse
Currently, more than 93,000 children in Kent are said to be living in poverty. It is thought that the warehouse relocation is vital in order to serve the needs of the most vulnerable people in the community.
The new premises, which is double the size of the previous site, has been funded by Asda through the Fight Hunger Create Change programme - a partnership between Asda, FareShare and The Trussell Trust which aims to lift one million people out of food poverty across the UK.
Over the course of three years, Asda is investing more than £20 million to enable both charities to invest in infrastructure and offer more fresh food and support and advice to people in need.
Tim Scott, senior manager community and campaigns at Asda, said: “By bringing FareShare and The Trussell Trust together and investing in their infrastructure and essential services, we can help thousands more vulnerable people in Kent and nationwide to access good quality fresh food.
“Ultimately, our aim is to change the face of poverty in the UK by providing much needed food to those in need and tackling the root causes of poverty, ensuring nobody goes hungry.”
For further information or to find out how your charity or community group can receive surplus food from FareShare, click here.