Hero fresh vegetables on shelves

COVID-19 Emergency Surplus Food Grant

WRAP and Defra appreciated the significant challenges and hard work that many not-for-profit food redistributors faced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. These essential organisations played a vital role in ensuring surplus food reached people in need or those considered most vulnerable, whilst also preventing this essential resource from becoming waste.

As part of the UK Government's collaborative response to supporting key infrastructure throughout this pandemic, Defra made £5m available through the Resource Action Fund administered by WRAP. The COVID-19 Emergency Surplus Food Grant was delivered in three phases.

  • Phase 1: WRAP approached a target list of small redistribution organisations who had previously applied to the fund, to ascertain their immediate need for potential funding support.
  • Phase 2 provided funding opportunities for small surplus food redistributors and is now closed.
  • Phase 3 was aimed at medium-to-larger operators is now closed.

The aim of the grant was to assist surplus food redistributors in overcoming challenges that they faced in obtaining surplus food from food businesses (such as retailers and food manufacturers) and distributing this to people in need or those considered vulnerable. The grant was used to fund both capital and revenue costs associated with redistribution activities such as:

  • access to surplus food through logistical collections;
  • sorting, storing, freezing, labelling / repackaging food; and
  • onward distribution of food to charities or end beneficiaries.