Southampton Football Club and Saints Foundation have linked with FareShare Southern Central, the region's biggest charity for fighting hunger and food waste, to cook and deliver a range of 1,000 meals each week for people in need across the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The club has committed a significant amount of financial and human resource to the initiative, providing ingredients, packaging and a team of expert chefs, who will create a range of healthy, nutritious and well-balanced dishes for vulnerable people who are struggling to gain access to food in Southampton and the immediately-surrounding areas.
greg bakerwe hope this scheme will provide some valuable help to people in real need at this time.
head of saints foundation and community partnerships
The first batch of meals were picked up on Friday 3rd April, and distributed across the following seven days, with subsequent pick-ups taking place at the same time each week thereafter.
The meals are delivered to FareShare Southern Central, which then redistributes to those most in need across the region via its network of more than 200 frontline charities and community groups – including schools and food banks.
Saints Foundation has also been providing volunteers to FareShare Southern Central each day, to support across their entire operation.
The project covers an initial 12-week timeframe, to align with the suggested period of isolation for the most at-risk members of society, with Southampton City Council giving permission to use St Mary's Stadium to cook and prepare the food.
claire martinwe are grateful to have the support of southampton football club and saints foundation at this critical time, which will help us to continue to reach those most vulnerable in our communities.
development manager, fareshare southern central
FareShare Southern Central is part of FareShare UK, which takes good-quality surplus food from across the food industry and redistributes to those in need through a network of 11,000 charities and community groups nationwide – including those experiencing homelessness, mental health difficulties, domestic violence, loneliness and poverty.
As part of their wider operation, this initiative will see them take 12,000 meals to a variety of organisations for them to distribute to their communities, including youngsters living in poverty who have no access to school meals, older people in lieu of their usual lunch clubs, and also charities such as YMCA and Society of St James, which helps vulnerable adults including those who are homeless.