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    Leftover Foods, Charity and Food Banks

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    Jan1
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    Leftover Foods, Charity and Food Banks

    Post by Jan1 on Thu Jun 04 2015, 11:03

    Tesco To Give Leftover Food To Charity As CEO Dave Lewis Admits He's 'Not Comfortable' With Levels Of Waste

    Tesco is to become the first British supermarket to launch a bold new scheme to donate leftover food to charity, as their CEO admitted they were "not comfortable" about throwing away thousands of tonnes of food every year which could have been eaten by people in need.

    Company chief Dave Lewis told The Huffington Post UK: "A number of years ago we identified that food waste was an issue for our business. "

    Despite taking some measures to prevent food waste, Lewis said the company "didn’t feel good about" the fact that the fluctuating demand for different food in supermarkets meant "you’re left with food that passes its sell-by date but is still perfectly good for human consumption."

    "This was something we didn't feel comfortable about."

    New figures published by Tesco recently revealed that the company threw away 55,400 tonnes of food over the last year - around 30,000 tonnes of which was perfectly edible.

    Lewis said that changeable British weather was one reason for the waste: "Despite everything that has been happening in the supply chain - and there is a lot - when you get to a store, just by the vagaries of weather, you may have thought that you need X amount of strawberries or salad, and then the weather turns and it’s not bought by customers."

    After several years of partnering with organisations to reduce their waste, the company is now trialling a new way of making sure any food left over at the end of the day can be taken free-of-charge by charities, through an app that alerts Tesco staff to nearby charities that need food. Beforehand, the food would likely have been needlessly destroyed.

    The move is similar - though less radical - to France's decision last month to make it illegal for large supermarkets to throw away edible food.

    Alluding to the business troubles plaguing Tesco, including an accounting scandal and one of the biggest losses in corporate history posted in April, Lewis added: "This is not something which is a response to short term other news in our business.

    "We know that this is the right thing for us to be doing.

    "We think that we have found a sustainable responsible way of eliminating waste in our business that could be safely consumed and we’re going after it.

    "Who would want to throw away food that people could eat when you know that there are people out there who actually for whatever reason unfortunately are not in a position to do that?

    "Everybody wins here if we get it right."

    Lewis explained what usually happens to food past its sell-by date: "In the past once that [food] got past the display date, you had no choice but to put it into the waste system.

    "Depending what the composition of the waste was, if it is possible for it to be used as animal feed then it would be, but ultimately, if there’s no way of reusing it for anything else then it is pure waste.

    "In the UK, depending on which region you’re in, [it is] either used as incineration as energy. it’s local authorities who would dispose of it. It’s waste."

    "We wanted to avoid that."

    The scheme will be run through an app which allows Tesco store managers to alert nearby charities what surplus food they have and how much of it is avalaible at the end of the day.

    Tesco will partner with UK food redistribution charity FareShare, and Irish social enterprise FoodCloud to trial the FareShare FoodCloud app in the UK.

    Charities, including homeless hostels, women’s refuges and disadvantaged children’s breakfast clubs, will then be able to confirm what food they would like and pick it up for free.

    FareShare will also help support the charities to ensure that surplus food is used safely for those who need it.

    The scheme will be piloted in 10 Tesco stores around the UK and is already in place in two stories in Ireland.

    At least half a million Britons are estimated to have used a food bank last year, figures which campaigners suggest indicate rising levels of poverty since the recession.

    Tesco Story Taken From Here

    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/06/03/tesco-leftover-food-waste-charity-ceo-dave-lewis_n_7502092.html?icid=maing-grid7%7Cuk%7Cdl1%7Csec3_lnk6%26pLid%3D355904

    You may also like to read Food Banks - A Sign Of Our Times ?

    link here http://thelowcarbdiabetic.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/food-banks-sign-of-our-times.html

    One last thought quote from above "At least half a million Britons are estimated to have used a food bank last year, figures which campaigners suggest indicate rising levels of poverty since the recession." and this is 2015.

    Of course, the UK is not alone in this food stamps and similar are on the rise in many other countries.

    But do you have any thoughts on the matter?

    All the best Jan
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    Re: Leftover Foods, Charity and Food Banks

    Post by Jan1 on Sun Jan 03 2016, 11:26

    In the news today 3rd January 2016:

    Britons driven to food banks by poverty seen as 'collateral damage' by DWP, says Trussell Trust

    Britain's biggest food bank provider says the Government has threated the charity for speaking out on the issue.

    Hundreds of thousands of Britons driven to food banks by poverty in the past year are seen as “collateral damage” by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), according to Chris Mould, chair of the Trussell Trust.

    The Government has spent years in denial of the existence of food poverty and continues to threaten the charity for speaking out on the issue, he said.

    The Trussell Trust is Britain’s biggest provider of food banks, with more than 420 around the country. But despite years of repeated attempts by the charity, Iain Duncan-Smith, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions who has accused the organisation of scaremongering, has never met its representatives, said Mr Mould.

    “We’ve asked on many occasions over many years and we’ve always suggested that we’d like to have a conversation with his department about the issues that we see.”

    He added: “The only time we’ve had access to the Department for Work and Pensions at any sensible process of dialogue was during the early part of the Coalition government in 2010-2011 when they were consulting on issues relating to the social fund and welfare reform.”

    Lives are at stake, said Mr Mould, who ran the Central Police Training and Development Authority and NHS trusts in Wiltshire and Bedfordshire before becoming involved with the charity more than a decade ago.

    “We are dealing with people who have been going hungry but, more importantly, have come to a point where they see no point in continuing to live. What makes me angry is that I’ve met too many people who have been driven to that place by inadequate implementation of existing public service and policy.”

    He added: “There are many people who have told me that the food bank saved their lives and several instances of people where that’s absolutely true; they had reached the end of their tether and they were planning to commit suicide.”

    Food-bank use in Britain is at record levels. More than one million food parcels, each providing enough food for three days, were given out between 2014 and 2015, more than 400,000 of which went to children. In recognition of the growing problem, the Big Lottery Fund gave the Trussell Trust £748,423 last month. In more than 40 per cent of cases, the main reason for people needing food parcels is related to delays or changes to their benefits, says the charity. Although official figures are not yet available, food banks were busier than usual over Christmas.

    Commenting on the DWP’s refusal to have a meaningful dialogue with the charity and its stance on the plight of Britons who cannot afford to eat, Mr Mould said: “I would imagine they see it as collateral damage as they implement new policy and they don’t intend to divert or adjust their policy, so it’s better not to hear. That’s how it feels.”

    Attempts by officials to undermine the charity continue but are more subtle than tactics used in the past, he said. Last year The Independent revealed how a senior aide to Iain Duncan-Smith had warned Mr Mould that the “Government might try to shut you down”, because of the charity’s campaigning on food poverty. Asked if such threats persisted, Mr Mould said: “What’s happened is that the messages are passed through in a more subtle way, that’s all I can really say. What we hear is that we will never get access to policy makers in Government.” He added: “We get told that if we were to say less, and to be less regular in the saying of what we say, we would then get the chance to have conversations with Government departments.”

    Food poverty in Britain is set to worsen in the coming years, he fears. “We have to face the reality that what we are seeing now is just the beginning,” he told the IoS. “The measure must be that when things go wrong, we fast-track putting them right. But we have a Government department that tolerates without shame situations where people have no access to financial support for months on end at times.

    “If you were to take the same principle and apply it to the health service and say, ‘A tiny proportion of patients won’t get a good service’, and as a consequence they don’t get better and die, there would be a scandal. Because you would never be allowed to consider that that’s how you would operate a public service.”

    In a statement, a Government spokesman said: “Britain has a proud tradition of volunteering and of civil society and faith groups providing support to vulnerable people and this Government welcomes that. We know that the reasons for food-bank use are complex and often overlapping, so it is misleading to claim that it is driven by benefit delays. The vast majority of benefits are paid on time and improvements are being made year on year.”

    He added: “We continue to spend around £80bn a year on working-age benefits so we have a strong safety net in place to support millions of people who are unemployed or on low incomes.”

    Story taken from here

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/britons-driven-to-food-banks-by-poverty-seen-as-collateral-damage-by-dwp-says-trussell-trust-a6794101.html
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    Re: Leftover Foods, Charity and Food Banks

    Post by chris c on Sun Jan 03 2016, 22:10

    Last time I was on "benefits" was back in the eighties, and I doubt things have improved any.

    First I was hospitalised with "suspected hepatitis" and when I came out I claimed Sickness Benefit, and had to get part of my rent from the Council. It took weeks before the money arrived.

    When I was cleared to work there was no point starting a new job because I was scheduled for an operation for the gallstones I had been told categorically for five years that I didn't have, so I claimed Unemployment. It took more weeks with no income before the new benefit arrived. Meantime I did some temping which screwed things up even worse, each time the benefits were cancelled and I had to reapply.

    Then I went back on Sickness after I came out of the hospital again. More weeks without any money at all. If it wasn't for my parents, and the landlord being helpful, I'd have been completely screwed. Then back to Unemployment, ditto. 

    Guess what, AFTER I restarted work they continued paying the benefit and I couldn't make them stop. Then someone stole one of the cheques they should never have sent. The Investigations Officer was convinced I had cashed the cheque myself while simultaneously working over ten miles away. He refused to involve the Police.

    Then (presumably the same) criminal stole a chequebook from my post (plus a number of other people) and stole thousands of pounds none of us had. Eventually the Police became involved but "couldn't prove anything". I think eventually they caught the thieves, it turned out they were opening new bank accounts with the same initials but different forenames as their victims. Yet when I tried to open a new bank account (well you would, wouldn't you?) they wanted half a gazillion different forms of ID and made it pretty obvious they thought I was the criminal.

    The whole experience was an eye opener. Several million people have no choice but to live like this.
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    Re: Leftover Foods, Charity and Food Banks

    Post by Jan1 on Wed May 23 2018, 17:52

    ... and I'm certain it is not just the UK !

    "This Is How One London Warehouse Is Feeding 484,376 People For Free
    'It’s been tough for people for a long time, but it is getting worse and worse.'

    A cargo ship full of olive oil is bound for the UK; arriving late at Southampton because of bad weather, customs officials find something wrong with the shipment’s paperwork and refuse to allow it entry. It languishes at the dock for weeks - its cargo undistributed to supermarkets – before it is finally released and allowed to continue its journey. By which point, the food’s strict timestamp has expired and it can no longer be stocked on shelves.

    Now what to do with gallons of edible but unsellable oil sitting on a boat?
    The food industry regularly ends up with a surplus on its hands thanks to seasonal variation, which might see buyers flooded with a particular crop thanks to a bountiful harvest. Immovable use-by-dates and manufacturer error also leave excess stock stranded without a seller - when a fizzy drink brand reportedly used the incorrect colour on labels, for example, it rendered otherwise good product unsellable.

    For consumers, that may seem baffling. But for an industry operating on such a massive scale, such wastage has become standard. It contributes to a huge volume of annual food waste: WRAP, a charity working for sustainable use of resources, estimates 270,000 tonnes of food waste are generated during retail and manufacture, with 100% of retail and 51% of manufacture food waste completely avoidable.

    But until the food chain finds a solution, one warehouse in south London is providing an answer. One that helps solve another problem too - food poverty.

    FareShare’s London headquarters are a huge 10,000 square feet. “I love seeing the look on people’s faces when they come in, it’s a bit of a tardis” says Susie Haywood from the charity, who is showing me around the warehouse in a quiet industrial estate in Deptford. It backs onto a street of terraced homes and well-tended allotments; I wonder if the people strolling past the warehouse are aware that in 2017 the charity estimates that its contents helped to feed 484,376 people across the UK each week. A figure they are sure has since grown.

    FareShare’s London headquarters are a huge 10,000 square feet. “I love seeing the look on people’s faces when they come in, it’s a bit of a tardis” says Susie Haywood from the charity, who is showing me around the warehouse in a quiet industrial estate in Deptford. It backs onto a street of terraced homes and well-tended allotments; I wonder if the people strolling past the warehouse are aware that in 2017 the charity estimates that its contents helped to feed 484,376 people across the UK each week. A figure they are sure has since grown.

    “We haven’t seen the exact 2018 statistics yet but we know already it is going to show a massive increase in demand,” explains Haywood. The organisation’s 800 volunteers and 135 employees currently distribute 13,500 tonnes of food a year, via a network of 21 regional centres, to 6,723 local charities who run breakfast clubs, homeless hostels, women’s refuges and other places in need of ingredients to prepare hot meals.

    Demand for FareShare services has increased so much in recent years that there’s now a waiting list of charities wanting help.

    FareShare has, in the past, had to defend itself against arguments that it institutionalises food poverty. But CEO Lindsay Boswell is clear: “If for some reason food poverty went away, we would close up the doors and go.”

    Food poverty isn’t just about those without the financial means to access food, explains Haywood, but families where parents are working three jobs, unable to go home, and make sure their children have breakfast before they leave home in the morning. Those who can’t pay their utility bills so are unable to turn the oven on. Pensioners with early-stage dementia who forget to feed themselves. Others are victims of domestic violence left couch surfing without any access to food. “People are unaware of the extent of food poverty,” she adds. “It’s been tough for a long time but it is getting worse and worse.”

    We move our conversation inside the giant refrigerator, storing meats, dairy and other perishable goods to be sent out today. I glimpse of a box that has been labelled to be sent to the primary school I’ve encountered before - a school in the top 100 performing in England, and where the number of students entitled to free school meals is only 20%, compared to a national average of 25%. Somewhere I never would have expected to be needing help.

    Among those to have benefitted from FareShare’s work is 17-year-old Nick Makris from Manchester. Nick, who has autism, had been mute due to his severe social anxiety until he was signed up to a food programme at The Grange School. He helps prepare and serve meals to elderly people and has now started to speak, an intervention his teachers think would not have been possible without the food programme.

    And what about the volunteers, people who give up their time to drive vans and undertake hours of intensive manual labour? I meet Richard, 54, who travels across London once a week to assist as a driver, having given up his full-time career in the arts industry because he felt burned out. “I wanted to do something good, and it’s nice to be doing physical work, ”he explains. Other volunteers commute more than 50 miles.
    It isn’t just individuals who give their time here: we pass a group of 10, decked out in high-vis jackets as they are briefed, who are here for a corporate workday.

    We wander down the final aisle of the warehouse where it seems the more unusual items that FareShare receives are being stored. A bargain-bucket-esque collection of cat litter, fire lighters and toilet roll. (The latter will be distributed to those in need).
    “That’s nothing,” says Haywood. “We’ve had chocolate body paint and camel’s milk in here before...there’s this idea that if you’re poor you don’t deserve to have fancy food, and that’s just not true.”

    Want to get involved? You can volunteer at a regional Fareshare centre to help sort surplus food, deliver food to local charities and help in the office. Your company can also do a corporate team day."

    Please see story and relevant links here
    https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/this-is-how-one-london-warehouse-is-feeding-484376-people-for-free_uk_5aec2e85e4b041fd2d2559b5

    All the best Jan
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    Re: Leftover Foods, Charity and Food Banks

    Post by chris c on Wed May 23 2018, 22:23

    Scary stuff.

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    Re: Leftover Foods, Charity and Food Banks

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