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Helping hand for Midlands food charity

Thursday, 21 May 2020

An East Midlands distribution charity that ensures surplus food goes to those who need it has been given a helping hand by the University of Nottingham.

FareShare Midlands scrambled to set up a Nottingham office because of a sudden demand for services during the Coronavirus lockdown.

This required them to quickly locate office equipment, volunteers and funds.

The University was able to help when Gareth Gee, a tutor in the School of Education, responded to the call for volunteers. He began helping to unload and load food in the warehouse and drive a collection/drop off vehicle to locations in the region.

When he learnt that the charity needed furniture for the Lenton depot he approached the University’s Estates team. The University was able to offer desks, tables, chairs and filing cabinets that were no longer needed.

The warehouse is now handling more than 10 tonnes of food and meals a week.

Gareth said: “I am not medically qualified, so this was an opportunity to do something practical to help out. The Red Cross put me in touch with FareShare. These charities are experts, and they've really come to the fore to alleviate the problems caused by Covid-19. It's great to be able to help them in their work.”

Andy Parkinson, Head of Operations at FareShare Midlands said: “We were really grateful for the way people have responded to our calls for help.

We are facing great challenges in these unprecedented times. As the Coronavirus outbreak escalates, more and more people in our communities will face hunger, long periods of isolation and access to good, healthy food will be a struggle as many local charities may have to close.
Andy Parkinson, Head of Operations at FareShare Midlands

“We have a strong relationship with the University and were delighted for the donation of office furniture and to have volunteers from the institution. Last year we had an MBA student from the Business School working with us on his final assignment, and he went on to work for us part time.”

FareShare Midlands receives fresh, in date and good to eat surplus food into their warehouses where it is sorted and stored by a team of staff and volunteers. It is then redistributed to 450 charities and community groups across the Midlands, including community centres, homeless shelters and children’s breakfast/school holiday clubs.

Donated office furniture
Liz Cass - Head of News
Email: liz.cass@nottingham.ac.uk
Phone: 0115 748 4734
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Notes to editors:

The University of Nottingham is a research-intensive university with a proud heritage. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our students. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement. Ranked 103rd out of more than 1,000 institutions globally and 18th in the UK by the QS World University Rankings 2022, the University’s state-of-the-art facilities and inclusive and disability sport provision is reflected in its crowning as The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021 Sports University of the Year. We are ranked eighth for research power in the UK according to REF 2014. We have six beacons of research excellence helping to transform lives and change the world; we are also a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally. Alongside Nottingham Trent University, we lead the Universities for Nottingham initiative, a pioneering collaboration which brings together the combined strength and civic missions of Nottingham’s two world-class universities and is working with local communities and partners to aid recovery and renewal following the COVID-19 pandemic.

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