More than £4m awarded to redistribution organisations in England

10 June 2020

  • First round of funding announced under TWO Government surplus food redistribution grant schemes
  • £1.1m funding awarded by the COVID-19 Emergency Surplus Food Grant to 89 not-for-profit organisations in England; and 
  • £3.2m awarded under the Resource Action Fund Food Waste Prevention Grants to small- and large- scale redistribution projects in England.

The first wave of funding under the COVID-19 Emergency Surplus Food Grant is announced today, as WRAP confirms details of 89 not-for-profit organisations across England receiving much needed assistance. 

The COVID-19 Emergency Surplus Food Grant was launched in early April in response to the immediate challenges faced by food redistributors as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. It opened with an initial fund of £3.25 million, and was expanded with an additional £1.6 million from the Government in May; taking the total to nearly £5 million. 

The grants were designed by WRAP to direct urgently needed funding to where it would have the biggest impact in organisations of all sizes, based right across England. Due to the high number of requests for support for small-scale grants, WRAP and Defra have extended the closing date for applications for small grants (up to £10,000) and will now accept applications up to 13:00 on Friday 3rd July 2020. The scheme for large organisations is now closed (after the application deadline was extended). Regular dialogue with the larger grant recipients will inform the next steps for the fund, once the current grants are awarded.

The first recipients of COVID-19 Emergency Surplus Food Grant funding include small and medium sized not-for-profit organisations, as well as some of the UK’s largest redistribution charities. 

Funding has been allocated under a three-phase structure to ensure as many organisations as possible receive the right support at the right time, and according to their scale of operation. A total of £669,901 has been allocated to eighty small not-for-profits, with a further £402,451 awarded to nine medium and larger charities

Peter Maddox, Director WRAP, said; “I am absolutely delighted that we have been entrusted by Defra to deliver this much-needed grant scheme, and that we’ve been able to help so many organisations in such a short space of time. The interest we’ve received every day shows that this is a vital support for many charities. I am pleased that we can extend the time for the smaller grassroot charities, which often operate with much fewer resources and staff.”  

Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said; “The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted to us all the value of food and, more than ever, we must ensure good food does not go to waste. 

“This funding will help redistribution organisations across the country continue their crucial work, ensuring all quality, nutritious food reaches those who need it.”

Food Waste Champion Ben Elliot said; "These grants will champion and empower critical organisations as they work tirelessly to divert food across England – not only preventing tonnes of food from perishing but also supporting local communities during this unprecedented time.” 

The majority of COVID-19 Emergency Surplus Food small grants (up to £10,000) have been awarded to organisations based in the north west (15) and north east of England (13); with 12 charities based in both the East Midlands and eastern England. The remaining not-for-profits are situated in Yorkshire & the Humber (2), West Midlands (7), London (4) and the south west (8) and south east (7) of the country. 

The nine medium and large grant awards include three charities in the south east and individual charities in the north east, north west, Yorkshire & the Humber, East Midlands, London and the south west. Grants awarded include*:

  • £50,000 to Oxfordshire-based SOFEA, which provides food for vulnerable families and individuals through its 39 Larders, a membership-based scheme. The grant will provide additional warehouse racking and the installation of two walk-in freezers.
  • £48,615 for the Goodwin Development Trust, which operates in Hull and Humber, and last year redistributed 590 tonnes of surplus food. The organisation currently has a weekly membership of 140 Voluntary, Community and Public Sector organisations (VCS). The grant will pay for the three-month lease of a chiller unit, a new van, warehouse staff and associated IT and PPE.  
  • £50,000 to His Church, which is based in Lincolnshire but operates across England, to provide full transport and logistic solutions for major manufacturers' residual stock which is re-distributed directly through a large network of other charitable organisations. The grant will cover additional staff costs linked to the large increase in demand.
  • In addition, grants have been awarded to several FareShare regional centres, covering the South West to Lancashire and Cumbria, to support their work across England.

The COVID-19 Emergency Surplus Food Grant was created from the overarching £18 million Resource Action Fund, managed by WRAP on behalf of Defra, which supports  a number of key policy areas in addition to food. 

In addition to the COVID-19 emergency grants, WRAP also names the first recipients of £3.2 million under the Resource Action Fund Food Waste Prevention Grants to seventeen food redistribution projects in England. 

Thirteen small and medium projects have received funding worth nearly £1.2 million. Funding of nearly £2 million has also been awarded for large scale grants to four projects in London, Manchester and Lincoln to fund capital infrastructure, additional storage space, cold and frozen food storage, air blast freezing for chilled and bakery food and re-labelling equipment. 

Large grants awarded (subject to contract) under the Resource Action Fund Food Waste Prevention Grants include

  • £792,493 for The Felix Project to create a new East/South East London depot, to expand reach. 
  • £549,095 for His Church in Lincolnshire, which will increase collection, storage and redistribution of chilled and frozen food; enable air blast freezing and facilitate relabelling ambient food with labelling issues.
  • £403,945 for The Bread and Butter Thing – a charity which provides meals to families in need in Greater Manchester – to increase storage capacity and expand to frozen food.
  • £213,836 for London’s City Harvest, to provide a larger warehouse to increase cold and ambient food storage, in order to meet the supply of new unlocked sources of surplus food and reach new end beneficiaries.

Notes to Editor

  • *Awards are subject to contract, and a full list of recipients is on the WRAP website. The details of awards made in this release was correct as of the 25th May, but the on-line list will be updated regularly as more awards are made.
  • In addition to grant funding, WRAP in partnership with the Food Standards Agency and Defra, has published revised guidance covering date labelling and storage instruction requirements for surplus food, in order for it to be safely redistributed. The aim is to increase the amount of food made available by food businesses for redistribution and accepted by recipient organisations.
  • WRAP is a not for profit organisation founded in 2000 which works with governments, businesses and citizens to create a world in which we source and use resources sustainably. Our impact spans the entire lifecycle of the food we eat, the clothes we wear and the products we buy, from production to consumption and beyond.