Ensuring surplus food reaches people in need
- Many not-for-profit food redistributors faced significant challenges as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, seeing an increase in demand and moving towards a more direct doorstep food offering due to social distancing and lockdown rules.
- 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 the pandemic, Defra made some of the Resource Action Fund available to these organisations through the COVID-19 Emergency Surplus Food Grant. This funding was delivered in three phases.
- Phase 1 supported a targeted list of small not-for-profit surplus food redistribution organisations that had previously applied to WRAP for funding, to understand and address their immediate needs for support. Grants of between £5,000 and £15,000 were available.
- Phase 2 provided grants between £5000 and £15,000 for existing micro and small not-for-profit surplus food redistributors to reach those vulnerable and most in need during the crisis.
- Phase 3 provided up to £100,000 for medium to large organisations to address the risk of significant levels of food waste as a result of the lockdown and the increased demand for surplus food which created strain on redistribution network.
The aim of the grant was to assist surplus food redistributors in overcoming the challenges they faced in obtaining surplus food from food businesses (such as retailers and food manufacturers) and distributing this to their communities.
- 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.
- A list of COVID-19 Emergency Surplus Food Grant recipients can be found here.