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A two year old girl is sadly looking into her empty bowl wishing she had more to eat.
/ The Big Issues
/ The Big Issues

How cutting food waste is hitting food banks

In the UK today there are millions of people going hungry, including an estimated two million children.

It is hard to believe in a rich and resourceful country like the UK where there is, of course, more than enough food to go round. It is just not in the right place.

And that is where FareShare UK comes in. FareShare is a national network of charitable food redistributors, who take surplus and waste food from the food industry and get it to frontline charities and community groups.

However, this system is under severe stress. 

As the retailers and food producers are becoming more sustainable and managing to reduce food waste, donations to food charities have been reducing.    

To compound that, the cost of living crisis is having a major detrimental effect on the food charities themselves.

So, is the food still getting to where it needs to go? And can the food industry do more to help?

Carl Hawkes, Head of Network Support, FareShare UK

Carl Hawkes is a multi award-winning third sector leader who is passionate about creating opportunities for all.

Currently the Head of Network Support at FareShare UK, Carl manages the distribution of FareShare’s food and also leads FareShare UK’s Employability Services and Community Development Team.

Over the past 8 years, Carl has managed over £65 million worth of grants supporting those most in need.

Carl is a regular guest lecturer at Leeds Beckett University, lecturing the Food Nutrition students on the societal benefit of redistributing surplus food. Carl has served on the Board of Trustees at the South Yorkshire Eating Disorder Association and is currently a Board Member at the Leeds Community Foundation.

Outside of work Carl enjoys walking his dog and supporting Everton FC.

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Carl Hawkes

Contributor

Head of Network Support, FareShare UK

We've seen a drop in food volumes recently. Naively, I thought that was unique to the UK, but actually the Germans, French, Spanish and Italians are all experiencing the same issue.

Carl Hawkes