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Local charity Aldingbourne Trust are proud to be working in partnership with food rescue charity UKHarvest – the two charities are supporting each other during these difficult times. UKHarvest originally founded by CEO Yvonne Thomson, 3 years ago rescue food from various sources such as farms, supermarkets, catering companies, Ocado, P&O Cruises and more which would otherwise be wasted. A team of dedicated volunteers package up the rescued food into smaller food parcels which are then distributed to over 150 charities between Southampton – Tunbridge Wells – London including local refugees, food banks, homeless charities, school breakfast clubs and domestic abuse centres, ensuring the food reaches the people that need it most.
Food wastage in the UK is a huge problem which charities like UKHarvest are fighting to reduce. Registered charity WRAP (Waste Resources Action Programme) estimated annual food waste rising within UK households, hospitality & food service, food manufacture, retail and wholesale sectors in 2018 at around 9.5 million tonnes, 70% of which was intended to be consumed by people (30% being the ‘inedible parts’). This had a value of over £19 billion a year, and can be equated to more than 25 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.
Aldingbourne Trust – a local award winning charity supporting people with learning disabilities and / or autism heard about UK Harvest and wanted to do what they could to help. Due to these unprecedented times the Trust have been required to close their facilities at the Aldingbourne Country Centre to the public for a short time, and are focussing their resources to continue to support people to learn and develop their skills within areas such as catering. Charis Lawrence – Deputy Manager in Hospitality and Catering at the Trust said, “This partnership has not only supported UKHarvest by allowing them to use our empty catering facilities to package ambient stock such as rice, noodles, flour and dried fruit; it has really been beneficial for the people we support enabling them to continue learning and developing their skills by packaging up food ready for deliveries to those that need it most.” The food gets delivered in large quantities to the Country Centre kitchens and together UKHarvest and Aldingbourne Trust decant it into smaller food parcels, vacuum pack the products and label each package ready for delivery to local people.
Hannah Wells – one of the people Aldingbourne Trust support said, “I am so pleased to be involved with this project, it has enabled me to complete my Food Hygiene certification Level 1 and it has kept me really busy.” Jason Attenborough said, “ I too have loved being involved in this project, it’s fun, rewarding and it has educated me on how many people are in need of food and it’s given me a sense of purpose.”
Roger Parkes, UKHarvest’s Catering Manager, co-ordinating the partnership, is delighted with the progress and speed of which the food is being packaged, “ I am delighted to be working with Aldingbourne Trust, I have met some fantastic people and it’s such a lovely place to be. The support has been fantastic and we are all working together to distribute food to those in need as quickly as we can.”
UKHarvest are always looking for more organisations to support them so if you feel you could offer support please do get in touch with Liz Woodsell, COO, firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on Aldingbourne Trust visit www.aldingbournetrust.org