Thousands of meals help locals across Sussex

Around 30,000 meals have been donated to families and individuals in need

Southern Co-op is saying thank you to its members and customers who have used its food or funeral services and enabled funds to be donated to FareShare Sussex. The total donated to the charity is currently more than £11,000.

The praise comes during Co-op Fortnight which kicked off on Monday 21 June and will see co-operatives across the country celebrate the impact their members have had on society.

FareShare Sussex, based in Brighton, tackles food waste, empowers volunteers and redistributes surplus food to charities and community groups across Sussex and Surrey.

Holly Bramble, Southern Co-op’s Community and Campaign Co-ordinator, said: “As a co-operative, every time someone buys their groceries from us or gets support from one of our funeral homes, it could be adding to the pot of money which gets donated to charities. “Over the last year, FareShare has become a name that is instantly recognisable as a charity which has helped so many people struggling during the pandemic. Its networks have made such a difference. Thank you to our customers and members who have enabled this support of such an incredible cause.”

International Day of Co-ops falls at the end of Co-op Fortnight on Saturday 3 July.

In Mid Surrey, a number of community fridge projects are supported by FareShare Sussex.

Mid Surrey Community Fridges is made up of a group of three community fridge projects in Dorking, Goodwyns and Leatherhead, and has also established a Mobile Fridge.
Community fridges are shared local resources which allow members of the community to drop in and take what they need. During the pandemic, the project has been making up food bags for delivery or collection at the hubs and community centres.

Clare Davies, Chief Executive Officer at Mid Surrey Community Fridges, said: “Previously, we only counted numbers on our large estate fridge and averaged 750 visits over three months. Since changing to a bag drop referral service we have dramatically increased those numbers. “We now only have one site with limited food, and the rest is being bagged. We are also working with the Dorking Food Bank, delivering food parcels to those most in need as well as delivering to NHS staff. We have upscaled from around 1,800kgs of food per week to almost 5,000kgs.

“I am hoping that this crisis will bring to light the struggle that many, many people in our society face every day without the COVID-19 situation. FareShare is providing Mid Surrey Community Fridges with vital supplies for people that do not have enough to eat.”

To find out more about Mid Surrey Community Fridges, visit www.midsurreycommunityfridges.co.uk Or for more information on Southern Co-op’s community support, visit www.thesouthernco-operative.co.uk/love-your-neighbourhood/