‘Inspirational’ food charity battling COVID-19 surge gets £376k boost

A food redistribution charity which has seen demand ‘skyrocket’ during the coronavirus crisis has received a timely boost from London’s biggest independent charity funder.

FareShare London, which takes surplus supermarket food and delivers it to charities and community groups to turn into meals, has been given £376,000 from City Bridge Trust, the City of London Corporation’s grant maker.

Operating from a warehouse in Deptford, the charity delivered a whopping 420 tonnes of food in July – an eight-fold increase on levels before the pandemic.

The funding from City Bridge Trust will help FareShare London double the size of its operation in the capital by 2024, working with frontline charities and community groups to ensure vulnerable people can access quality, nutritious surplus food.

Dhruv Patel, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s City Bridge Trust Committee, said:

“Even in normal circumstances, FareShare and its army of dedicated volunteers do a fantastic job of taking food which is perfectly good to eat, but would otherwise be thrown away and distributing it to those in need.

“The way in which it has responded to skyrocketing demand for affordable food during the crisis has been truly inspirational, and this funding will enable it to help even more Londoners in the aftermath of the pandemic, and in the years to come.”

FareShare, which counts Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford among its supporters, joined with charities City Harvest and The Felix Project to set up the London Food Alliance, delivering to food hubs set up in all London boroughs to help those in need during the pandemic.

The City Bridge Trust cash over five years will fund a development manager tasked with more than doubling the 224 organisations FareShare serves, which include schools, homeless shelters and lunch clubs for older people.

Rachel Ledwith, FareShare London CEO, said:

“Since coronavirus lockdown measures were introduced, we have distributed over 1,000 tonnes of food to vulnerable people and those on low incomes across London, and in June delivered eight times as much as during the same month last year.

“At a time when demand for our service has soared across the UK and especially in London, this funding from City Bridge Trust could not have come at a more crucial time and we are grateful for this vital support.”

Case study: ‘Without us, they may have gone hungry’

Evelyn Community Food Store, run by Mayoress of Lewisham Natasha Rickett, is a pantry project based in Deptford which receives food from FareShare London.

Natasha said: “Sadly, food poverty is on the rise but, with the food we get from FareShare, plus support from Hawksmoor London, local bakeries and The Bear Church, we are able to feed so many households. Members tell us they have never eaten so well in their lives.

“Members used to enjoy coming to the pantry for a tea or coffee and a slice of cake but although COVID-19 put a stop to that, we now have shoppers in and out keeping two metres apart. We have had emergency referrals for families from some of the local schools as families have been left with nothing. We are a lifeline for some members and without us they may have gone hungry.”

The City Corporation’s charitable funder, City Bridge Trust, is London’s biggest independent grant giver, making grants of over £25 million a year to tackle disadvantage across the capital –

More information on FareShare London is at

Picture captions

- FareShare distributed 420 tonnes of food in July – eight times the normal levels

- Dhruv Patel, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s City Bridge Trust Committee

Notes to editors

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile, dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK –

The City Corporation’s charitable funder, City Bridge Trust, has allocated £11 million to the London Community Response, set up to help charities deal with the impact of coronavirus, and has also given over £1.7 million in one-off grants to 202 organisations it already supports to help them offset lost income resulting from the pandemic.

The London Community Response Fund is administered by City Bridge Trust, the funding arm of Bridge House Estates. The City of London Corporation is the sole trustee of Bridge House Estates and Members of its Court of Common Council form the City Bridge Trust Committee, responsible for taking grant and funding decisions for the charity.