A CHARITY which distributes surplus food to those in need is appealing for help as it loses volunteers to coronavirus self-isolation when demand is expected to soar.
Fare Share southern central, which has had a base at Calmore Industrial Estate near Totton since 2017, is part of the UK’s largest charity to fight hunger and food waste.
With the government implementing the closure of schools, many workplaces and public meeting places, the charity is anticipating a significant increase in demand for its service.
Development manager of FareShare southern central, Claire Martin, said: “Many of our projects, particularly those supporting older people, will no longer be able to offer communal meals.
“We’ll have to find a way to get food parcels to those who are most at risk, and we may well need people to pack and deliver individual food parcels.
“Unfortunately, as self-isolation measures kick-in, we are also at risk of losing regular volunteers, so the need is now extremely urgent. We desperately need more people to step in to help us get food to those who are vulnerable.”
The charity takes good-to-eat surplus from the food industry, which would otherwise go to waste, and passes it on to initiatives such as breakfast clubs, food banks and night shelters, and projects supporting vulnerable people and those with addictions and mental health problems.
The charity is taking measures to protect its volunteers, with training on handling food safely as well as hand washing and sanitiser facilities available.
It is now appealing for volunteers who are healthy, under 70 years old, have not visited Italy, Iran or parts of China or South Korea in the last 14 days, and have not had contact with a person with a confirmed case of the virus.
To register, visit www.fareshare.org.uk/volunteer.