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Volunteers' Week Day 5 - FareShare

05 June 2016

Peter McGowan volunteers with FareShare

Here's Peter's story:

"I started volunteering with Fareshare shortly after I retired.  I was sixty two and wanted to work part time and give something back.  I wanted a volunteer job that required physical work and to learn new skills.  My last ten years of work were as a teacher and I wanted new challenges.  I am not really an environmentalist but I believe that wasting food is wrong when so many people are hungry.  I think it is very generous of supermarkets and food producers to offer their surplus food to those in need.    Fareshare is a brilliant concept that actually works.  It is professional with volunteers attending food handling, hygiene and safety courses.  Standards are high and volunteers perform the collection, sorting, warehousing and distribution of food donations.  There is a sense of camaraderie and good humour and I have met many interesting people in the warehouse and when delivering food.  Volunteers are from a variety of backgrounds and are young and old, male and female.  I look forward to my Thursday volunteer day and never really know what tasks I will be performing."

FareShare is based near Belfast City Centre and is directly tackling food poverty in Northern Ireland by collecting surplus food from industry and redistributing it to charities that are providing meals to vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, including low income families, senior citizens, people with disabilities, victims of domestic violence, at risk young people and homeless people.The Belfast depot has been operating successfully for over three years and is currently diverting approximately 3 – 3.5 tonnes of food from waste every week, delivering it to 62 charitable projects throughout Northern Ireland.

As well as providing food producers with a safe, environmentally friendly and ethical solution to the disposal of waste, FareShare Northern Ireland has provided 54 volunteers with valuable work experience and training in areas such as Food Hygiene, Fork Lift driving and Health and Safety.

Find out more about volunteering with FareShare:

Food Sorter

Van Driver (age 25+)

Van Navigator

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