Every year 250,000 tonnes of food that is processed, packaged, and ready-to-eat is wasted by producers, manufacturers, and retailers in the UK supply chain for reasons ranging from inaccurate demand forecasting, packaging errors, damage in transit, or retailer rejections. There is also an additional 3.6 million tonnes of food being wasted by the food service industry every year in the UK of which over 2 million tonnes of this food is still edible; that’s enough for 1.3 billion meals – or enough to feed everyone living in food poverty for half the year, WRAP (2020).
In 2020/21 approximately 2.17 million people used a food bank in the UK. Throughout this period the number of foodbank users has increased every year, from just under 26,000 in 2008/09. (Statista, 2021).
The Covid-19 pandemic and cost of living crisis have pushed many into untold hardship and have pulled back the veil on the severity of the UK’s food insecurity issue.
The terms food poverty and food insecurity are often used interchangeably, but it is generally interpreted as the inability to afford, or have access to, food to make up a healthy diet. It is not necessarily about ‘hunger’ but more about being appropriately nourished to maintain health.
The causes of food poverty are complex and multiple and may include:
It can be transitory, acute, or chronic, and ranges in severity from worrying about having enough food to going whole days without eating. Typically, those affected will have made trade-offs in terms of which basic necessities to prioritise at the expense of others: heating their home, but not eating dinner.
To date St Ewe has donated 300,000 eggs to food charities through our #SO2HO campaign; helping to support during the cost-of-living crisis and beyond. We will carry on our pledge and combat food waste by donating surplus eggs to FareShare South West, who will distribute our eggs to those most in need throughout the region.
FareShare South West is the region’s largest food redistribution charity that fight hunger while tackling food waste. They save hundreds of tonnes of perfectly edible surplus food each year from across the food supply chain to frontline charities and organisations that work with the most vulnerable people.
FareShare South West provides a flexible and easy way of working with companies such as ours to ensure this good quality surplus food never reaches a bin and gets into the hands of those that need it.
At St Ewe Free Range Eggs we live and breathe nutrition and this is what has helped shape our brands and vision for our future. To be able to do our bit to support those in need and donate our surplus eggs to some of the most vulnerable people in the South West is a very humbling experience.
“Having eggs at our larder makes a huge difference to the people who use it. We have a variety of comments saying that eggs encourage people to cook healthy meals. Eggs with the vegetables we have available can make a complete meal – omelettes/quiche etc. People use them for baking, and we have a lot of vegetarians who are grateful to find eggs at the larder. People bring back their egg boxes ready to refill them for when we have more eggs delivered.
We had a young mum who burst into tears at the larder. I asked her what was wrong, and what help or support I could give her. She was so relieved to be able to have some eggs as it was her little girl’s 5th birthday. She was very short of money, but it meant she could now bake a birthday cake as a surprise before her daughter came home from school. So, to some people it’s just 6 eggs to others it’s a meal or the ability to show someone how much they mean to them by baking a birthday cake.”
Together with FareShare South West we will continue to support those in need and donate our surplus eggs to eliminate food waste and tackle hunger.