On Thursday I spent the day at FareShare. This volunteer opportunity was organised by the company I work for, and a group of us went along (above, the short one is me). FareShare is a national charity which redistributes surplus food from supermarkets and other companies to charity organisations who provide food for the disadvantaged – church organisations, homeless shelters etc.

I learned quite a lot:

  • Over 36,500 people a day benefit from the service provided
  • FareShare handles less than 0.1% of surplus food in the UK, but it still seems like a lot
  • This city has a lot of unwanted grapefruit

I was shocked at the quality and quantity of the food given by the big supermarkets. I was also surprised to hear that they pay an annual fee for the service (as it’s cheaper for them than destroying excess food, especially rendering meat).

In the morning we selected produce in the warehouse to fill orders and in the afternoon we delivered them to 5 London charities. After that we filled the truck with surplus food from Sainsbury’s – a vast array of fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, dairy, ready meals and non-perishable goods, just one day’s worth and all of it within the ‘use-by date’ (although I have a problem with use-by dates on fresh food, I think I can determine with my own eyes when a carrot is no longer fit for purpose).

By the end of the day I was completely knackered, it just goes to show how little physical activity I usually do in my daily work. I wouldn’t say I would swap my cushy computer-based job for manual labour but it was good to do something different for a day.

B is back on the chemo wagon this week as yesterday’s blood test showed that he has produced a sufficient amount of pellets. He was feeling ‘a bit funny – 2’ when I left this morning. This is the fifth cycle so the end is nigh – only one more remains!


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