The Royal Borough of Greenwich wins government award for outstanding contribution to local communities

The Royal Borough of Greenwich wins government award for outstanding contribution to local communities

The Royal Borough of Greenwich has won the award for Outstanding Contribution to Local Communities at the Regulatory Excellence Awards 2021, for their partnership with the food waste charity FareShare during the COVID-19 pandemic.

FareShare is a charity working to end hunger in the UK by redistributing surplus food to those who need it most. Between April 2020 and March 2021, they distributed nearly 132 million meals — four meals every second — to approximately 11,000 charities and charity groups across the UK.

The Royal Borough of Greenwich has been working with FareShare as their primary authority partner since 2017, making sure that the charity’s food safety standards are met. The council acts as the focal point for all other local authorities in the UK and provides invaluable advice and support to FareShare’s food safety team.

Cllr Jackie Smith, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Enforcement said: “We are absolutely delighted to have received recognition for our Environmental Health team’s vital work with FareShare during the pandemic, which has provided a lifeline for so many people in our borough and beyond. This award demonstrates the incredible impact that local authorities can have when working closely with businesses and organisations, and we are proud to have been able to work together in this way.”

Surplus food is labelled and loaded into vans for redistribution inside FareShare’s Deptford warehouse

During the COVID-19 pandemic, FareShare saw their biggest year yet, with a huge increase in demand for their services. To help with the increased need, the Royal Borough of Greenwich played a vital role in the adaptation and expansion of the organisation during the pandemic, while supporting other local authorities using FareShare’s services.

FareShare has also provided a much-needed lifeline for Royal Greenwich residents during the pandemic, providing ingredients for the Community Hub, which fed approximately 300 people per day during the summer last year, and ensured local people in Woolwich had delicious home-cooked meals for Christmas 2020.

A member of Royal Greenwich’s environmental health team visits the FareShare warehouse in Deptford

Cllr Danny Thorpe, Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, said: “I have seen first-hand the importance of our partnership with FareShare, especially during the pandemic, when they provided vital ingredients for our Community Hub to make nutritious meals for local residents. It’s fantastic news that this work has been recognised.”

Rachel McLean, Senior Compliance and Continuous Improvement Manager for FareShare UK commented: “Our primary authority partnership with the Royal Borough of Greenwich has enabled us to expand and vary our operations during the unprecedented crisis of the pandemic. Because of this work, we’ve been able to continue to put food on the tables of vulnerable people and support local charities in combating the stress and isolation of food poverty.”

Header image shows a FareShare volunteer outside their warehouse. Image ©Rob Pinney

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