Volunteer food waste surplus food

Food Waste Reduction Fund

This fund is now closed to further applications.

This £500,000 fund was provided by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and was managed by WRAP. The aim of the Fund was to help avoid surplus food produced by food businesses from becoming waste, by enabling Not-for-Profit organisations across England to redistribute more of this food to people in need.

To be eligible, Not-for-Profit organisations applying needed to demonstrate that they plan to work in partnership with food businesses such as retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers, food service and logistics companies. The programme awarded grants ranging in value from £20,000 to £75,000 for new projects that could be piloted and evaluated and, if successful, replicated and implemented more widely.

Expressions of Interest were invited that proposed a method of increasing quantities of surplus food redistributed that would otherwise not have happened without this funding, for example by involving businesses new to redistribution, accessing more food from businesses who already redistribute some surpluses, making increased use of food logistics companies, or tackling a specific barrier.

Awarded projects

Nuneaton & Bedworth Healthy Living Network (Warwickshire, West Midlands)

Potential tonnage redistributed: 164

Funding will expand the charities’ offering and developing a community group membership model, increasing the number of its community groups from 128 to 280, expanding the number of end beneficiaries and number of breakfast clubs and start the formation of tailored emergency food parcels. The grant will be spent on staff costs, increasing warehouse capacity, purchasing a walk in fridge-freezer.

Action Homeless (Leicester)

Potential tonnage redistributed: 161

The project will upscale current redistribution activities by investing in project coordination and logistics solutions - the grant will be spent on hiring a part time food coordinator, purchasing a vehicle to safely distribute surplus food, lease a shared storage unit and improve facilities. 

Feedback Global (Southwest & Southeast England)

Potential tonnage redistributed 171

Feedback would like to take a new approach to their current gleaning (picking up surplus from fields that would otherwise be ploughed in) operations by establishing a community led gleaning network which will lead to 36 additional gleaning days per year. The grant would be spent on staff costs, (including an outreach manager and two gleaning coordinators), and associated costs with running the gleaning days (i.e. equipment and volunteer expenses).

Fareshare Yorkshire

Potential tonnage redistributed: 780

This is a logistical solution to purchase 7.5t lorry to intercept surplus where the quantities are larger than those collected during 'normal' FareShare local van operations as this has not previously been cost-effective. The larger van would enable larger amounts of surpluses on a regional level to be distributed.  The grant would be spent on the purchase and maintenance of the larger vehicle, training and staff costs.

Food in the Community (Devon)

Potential tonnage redistributed: 61

Building on a pilot undertaken in Totnes, the applicant is proposing to use this learning for a range of activities in the town of Newton Abbot in Devon, including opening a pay as you feel PAYF café, piloting a surplus produce delivery scheme, undertaken some gleaning activities and delivering cookery courses. The grant would be spent on purchasing an electric van, staff costs, and purchasing IT equipment.

REfUSE (Durham)

Potential tonnage redistributed: 121

The applicant would like to turn their recently acquired warehouse space into a food redistribution hub, to increase their capacity for existing redistribution operations and undertake new projects for the benefit of the local community, including a pay as you feel cafe PAYF. The grant will be spent employing a cafe manager, as well as other staff costs, and purchasing a walk in fridge-freezer.

His Church (London, the Midlands, NW and NE England)

Potential tonnage redistributed: 976

Expansion of current redistribution activities, and set up more holiday hunger programmes to feed vulnerable children and families. The grant will be spent on developing facilities for collection and storage, purchasing a walk in chiller and a refrigerated van. The project focuses on chilled and frozen food.

Fareshare South of England

Potential tonnage redistributed: 37

A pilot project to expand their freezer capacity at two FareShare depots in the South of England and redistribute more frozen surplus to those in need. The grant money will be spent on purchasing a walk in freezer, plus chest freezers for local FareShare member organisations, in addition to staffing and costs for transporting the additional frozen food.