Moving film highlights impact of charity supporting Lancaster and Morecambe

Jeff Green, Food Distribution Centre manager.

Jeff Green, Food Distribution Centre manager.

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The work of charity supporting community groups across Lancaster and Morecambe has been highlighted in a moving film about food poverty.

The film, commissioned by Recycling Lives, follows food being diverted from ‘waste’ to plate, as quality goods destined for landfill are redistributed to vulnerable communities.

The Food Distribution Centre, run by Preston-based Recycling Lives in partnership with FareShare, provides fresh, in-date food to community groups including Lancaster Youth Group, the Robert Gillow Food Project and Salvation Army Morecambe.

The eight-minute film shows the impact of that tackling food poverty and reducing food waste has on communities.

Members of the FareShare scheme, community food members (CFMs), pay a modest monthly fee to take collections of a wide range of fresh, ambient and frozen food, and then transform this into nutritious meals or food parcels for vulnerable people or those concerned by food waste, including school breakfast clubs or homeless shelters.

Launched in October 2015, the Food Distribution Centre services 56 regular CFMs across Lancashire and Cumbria, with a total of 88 members.

It supports a further five groups in Morecambe: Olive Tree Ministries UK, Morecambe Bay Food Bank, Salvation Army Morecambe, SRBC Stanley Rd Baptist Church and West End Impact.

The service also supports six groups in Lancaster: Apothecary, Lancaster Labour Community Club, Lancaster People’s Café, Skerton Community Centre, Stanleys Lancaster Youth Group and The Robert Gillow Food Project.

It has distributed more than 600,000 meals to date, facilitating more than 10,000 meals every week, and diverting thousands of tonnes of food waste from landfill while saving its CFMs around £13,000 a year in food costs.

Recycling Lives employee Jeff Green, the centre’s manager, said: “We are privileged to be able to do this work, delivering 10,000 meals per week through our network of CFMs.

“The food which we supply - which can range from fresh fruit and vegetables to cuts of meat or frozen items – creates meals which are just the tip of the iceberg in the help these groups give. Our CFMs also support people with budgeting, cooking skills, employability support, parenting skills, financial advice and much more.

“My colleagues and I are very proud to be helping to sustain many charities across Lancashire.”

Work is now underway to open a second facility in Cumbria in 2017, to double the charity’s social impact.

Recycling Lives provides the charity food redistribution service as well as offender rehabilitation and services to tackle homelessness, funded by its commercial recycling and waste management business.

Steve Jackson, CEO and founder of Recycling Lives, said: “We commissioned this short documentary to highlight the successful partnership between FareShare and Recycling Lives. It demonstrates the incredible social impact that a business can have on its community, by supporting the essential work delivered by charities across Lancashire.

“Of course, the Recycling Lives business can only support charity partnership’s like this, thanks to the many local businesses that choose us for their recycling and waste management.”

To view the film, visit http://www.recyclinglives.org/fareshare-video/

To find out more, register as a CFM or provide surplus food, contact fareshare@recyclinglives.org

Recycling Lives creates social impact through clever business practice and partnerships.

Its charity and social enterprises, tackling homelessness, rehabilitating offenders and redistributing food, are funded by its successful commercial waste management and recycling business.

Its use of business principles for social good, operating a profit-making business to sustain its charity, makes it a double-Queen’s Award winning organisation.

It was recognised in 2010 and again in 2014 for its commitment to enterprise and sustainable development.

Founder Steve Jackson has been awarded an OBE by the Queen for his commitment to creating jobs and was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Lancashire in 2016.