Surplusfood redistribution charity FareShare has opened a new warehouse in Milton Keynes to provide an estimated 370,000 mealsto people in need over the coming year.

FareShare SouthMidlands, based in Bletchley, is beingrun in partnership with SOFEA, a charity that works with young people to develop their skills and employability.

The Regional Centre, which will be FareShare’s 25th warehouse in the UK, aims to serve 49 charities and community groups and reach over 5,200 people at risk of hunger within its first year of opening.

Currently, more than one in three children in Milton Keynes are living in poverty, according to shocking statistics from End Child Poverty, and the Regional Centre’s launch is seen as key to meeting the needs of the city’s most vulnerable people.

The opening has been made possible following investment from Asda as part of its Fight Hunger Create Change programme - a partnership between Asda, FareShare and the Trussell Trust which aims to support one million people in poverty across the UK. Over the course of three years, Asda is investing over £20 million to enable both charities to invest in infrastructure and offer more fresh food and crucial support and advice to people in need.

Richard Kennell, CEO of FareShare South Midlands and SOFEA, said: “SOFEA first launched in partnership with FareShare five years ago, when we opened FareShare’s Thames Valley branch.

“Our dual mission of fighting hunger and food waste, alongside supporting young people to achieve their potential, has proved a brilliant success in that region. In just five years, we have saved 1,000 tonnes of surplus food from waste whilst also supporting over 250 disadvantaged young people through our education programmes.

“At SOFEA, we believe everyone should have access to quality food and education – and we look forward to working with the community in Milton Keynes to make this vision a reality.”