Food distribution FareShare has called on the UK government to extend its £5 million funding to prevent millions of tonnes of food from being wasted.
According to FareShare, without the government’s support 53 million meals worth of food will go to waste.
As a result, the charity has launched its new #FoodOnPlates campaign to stop millions of tonnes of fresh, unsold food from being wasted, when it could instead go to charities and community groups feeding families.
The launch comes as research revealed one in eight people in the UK struggles to afford food – and the pandemic has resulted in many more families facing food insecurity.
According to research, 67 per cent of charities providing emergency food aid say they would have to continue, even as restrictions ease.
Despite this, the charity revealed it is cheaper for farmers to waste good-to-eat food than get it to charities putting meals onto people’s plates.
“It’s a scandal that good food is left to rot in our fields or be thrown into biogas digesters or landfill when so many families are still dependent on food aid in the wake of the crisis, with thousands more unable to afford healthy fruit and veg,” FareShare chief executive Lindsay Boswell said.
However, France offers business incentives through reduced taxation for food redistribution and gets six times more unsold food to charities.
Boswell added: “France rescues six times more unsold food than we do in the UK, in part thanks to tax breaks that cover the additional costs of getting that food to charities.
“That’s why we’re calling on the government to reinstate landmark funding to save good food and get it onto people’s plates.”
During the pandemic, FareShare distributed 19,000 tonnes worth of emergency food supplies donated by the government and businesses.