Government pledges millions to help rescue more food from farms

21 February 2024

The Felix Project is delighted that the Government has pledged to introduce a £15 million fund to help farmers redistribute surplus food, preventing millions of meals worth of edible food from going to waste.

The announcement was made by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) Conference, as part of a commitment to improving food security in the UK.

A campaign by Fareshare UK and The Felix Project has been calling for exactly this support for many years. In September 2023, The Evening Standard also joined the call after revealing 2.9 million tonnes, enough for 7 billion meals, of good-to-eat farm produce was being burned, buried in landfill, or sent to plants to produce biogas.

Charlotte Hill, CEO of the Felix Project, said:

“Last year we redistributed 32 million meals to London’s hungry. But that’s a fraction of the food being wasted, and the number of people needing food support greatly outstrips supply. It’s a travesty that the farmers invest so much money, time and heart in growing food that has not been feeding people.

“This £15 million funding will make a real difference to our work stopping quality food from being wasted, and getting it instead to those most in need. We are delighted that the Government has answered the call from The Felix Project and FareShare to take this common-sense step, making sure food makes it to hungry people’s plates. We look forward to helping make this commitment a reality, alongside the many charities, schools and community groups we support to serve our society’s most vulnerable people.”

George Wright, CEO of FareShare, said: 

"We are thrilled that after years of campaigning from FareShare and the Felix Project, the Government will be committing £15m towards food surplus redistribution, getting good-to-eat surplus food from our farms to people who need it instead of letting it go to waste. We are hugely grateful to our supporters, donors, partners and MPs, all of whom have played a part in securing this significant step forward.

We know that farmers want their edible surplus produce to feed people. At a time when 13 million people in the UK are facing food insecurity, this funding has the potential to make an enormous difference to people and communities across the country. We look forward to learning more details and to working with the Government, farmers and the surplus food redistribution sector to put plans into place that will deliver a rapid and effective impact.”

This funding should mean more food is made available for The Felix Project to distribute to the thousands of organisations and primary schools we support across London on a weekly basis.