Resource Use

WRAP awards over £4m for food redistribution

The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has today (11 June) announced details of its first round of funding for “vital” food distribution schemes in England amounting to more than £4 million.

WRAP awards over £4m for food redistribution

WRAP has awarded £1.1 million funding to 89 not-for-project organisations through the Covid-19 Emergency Surplus Food Grant and £3.2 million to small- and large-scale redistribution projects through Resource Action Fund Food Waste Prevention Grants to ensure food reaches those who need it during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Funding has been provided by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to be administered by WRAP as part of its response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Covid-19 Emergency Surplus Food Grant

Launched in April, the Covid-19 Emergency Surplus Food Grant responds to challenges faced by food distributors as a consequence of the Covid-19 outbreak.

The total fund stands at nearly £5 million, with an initial fund of £3.25 million supplemented by an additional £1.6 million from the government, with funding drawn from the overarching £18-million Resource Action Fund.

The funding will be allocated under a three-phase structure to ensure as many organisations as possible receive the right support at the right time, according to their scale of operation, with the first wave of funding worth £1.1 million.

A total of £669,901 has been allocated to eighty small not-for-profits, delivered in small grants of up to £10,000 to organisations based across England: North West (15), North East (13),  East Midlands and the East (12), Yorkshire & the Humber (2), West Midlands (7), London (4), South West (8) and South East (7).

A further £402,451 has been awarded to nine medium and larger charities including:

£50,000 to Oxfordshire-based SOFEA, which provides food for vulnerable families and individuals through its 39 Larders, a membership-based scheme. The grant will provide additional warehouse racking and the installation of two walk-in freezers.
£48,615 for the Goodwin Development Trust, which operates in Hull and Humber, and last year redistributed 590 tonnes of surplus food. The organisation currently has a weekly membership of 140 Voluntary, Community and Public Sector organisations (VCS). The grant will pay for the three-month lease of a chiller unit, a new van, warehouse staff and associated IT and PPE.
£50,000 to His Church, which is based in Lincolnshire but operates across England, to provide full transport and logistic solutions for major manufacturers' residual stock which is re-distributed directly through a large network of other charitable organisations. The grant will cover additional staff costs linked to the large increase in demand.
In addition, grants have been awarded to several FareShare regional centres, covering the South West to Lancashire and Cumbria, to support their work across England.
Reflecting on the funding Food Waste Champion Ben Elliot said; “These grants will champion and empower critical organisations as they work tirelessly to divert food across England – not only preventing tonnes of food from perishing but also supporting local communities during this unprecedented time.”

Resource Action Fund Waste Prevention Grants

Under the second food surplus distribution mechanism, the Resource Action Fund Waste Prevention Grants, WRAP has awarded £3.2 million to 17 redistribution projects in England; with 13 small and medium projects receiving £1.2 million and four larger projects allocated nearly £2 million.

Large grants awarded (subject to contract) under this grant include:
£792,493 for The Felix Project to create a new East/South East London depot, to expand reach.
£549,095 for His Church in Lincolnshire, which will increase collection, storage and redistribution of chilled and frozen food; enable air blast freezing and facilitate relabelling ambient food with labelling issues.
£403,945 for The Bread and Butter Thing – a charity which provides meals to families in need in Greater Manchester – to increase storage capacity and expand to frozen food.
£213,836 for London’s City Harvest, to provide a larger warehouse to increase cold and ambient food storage, in order to meet the supply of new unlocked sources of surplus food and reach new end beneficiaries.

Commenting on the two grants, Peter Maddox, Director at WRAP, said: “I am absolutely delighted that we have been entrusted by Defra to deliver this much-needed grant scheme, and that we’ve been able to help so many organisations in such a short space of time. The interest we’ve received every day shows that this is a vital support for many charities. I am pleased that we can extend the time for the smaller grassroot charities, which often operate with much fewer resources and staff.”

Environment Minister Rebecca Pow added: “The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted to us all the value of food and, more than ever, we must ensure good food does not go to waste.

“This funding will help redistribution organisations across the country continue their crucial work, ensuring all quality, nutritious food reaches those who need it.”

Due to the demand for support for small-scale grants, WRAP and Defra have made the decision to extend the closing date for applications for small grants for food redistributors to 3 July 2020. To find out more about applying for a grant, visit WRAP’s website.

WRAP has also been actively encouraging retailers and businesses to look beyond the ‘Best Before’ date to increase the amount of food available for redistribution to those who need it during the pandemic. In April, it updated its guidance on food surplus distribution.

You can read more about WRAP’s projects and funding on its website.