Greenyard Frozen has built a new packaging line to distrubute surplus produce through FareShare, to help create 80,000 meals for vulnerable people.

Greenyard will be redistributing excess purple carrots through the redistribution charity, who in turn deliver them to frontline support groups and other charities, including homeless hostels, older people’s lunch clubs and community centres.

The Belgium-based company even setup a separate packaging production line for the excess carrots, with FareShare’s 'Surplus with Purpose Fund' covering the additional processing and labour costs.

Defra provided a grant of £1.9 million towards the fund, as part of its £15 million scheme launched in January to help redistribution charities overcome barriers getting surplus food onto people’s plates.

Laura Dixon, customer service manager at Greenyard Frozen, said: “We’ve worked with FareShare for many years whereby they’ve helped us redistribute excess packed stock from our business to those in need.

“But what was different about this campaign was that by using the Government grant, we were able to pack stock specifically for FareShare which was in bulk storage within our business. It was a real game changer and has opened the door for us to increase our support to FareShare in the future.”

Frozen vegetables are valuable to charities, as it means they can provide the people they support with a more varied and healthy menu, and can help with their meal planning. The carrots also come ready-chopped, which cuts down on prep time for busy charity cooks.

FareShare also worked with Greenyard Frozen to provide charities with ‘purple carrot factsheet’ to reassure people that they’re just as full of flavour and nutrients as the more common orange variety.

FareShare CEO Lindsay Boswell, said: “WRAP estimates over 2 million tonnes of edible surplus food goes to waste each year within the UK supply chain alone – yet at the same time, over 8 million people struggle to put food on the table.

“By accessing FareShare’sSurplus with Purpose FundGreenyard Frozen are doing the right thing with their surplus veg – getting it onto the plates of people who need it.”

The £3 million FareShareSurplus with Purpose Fundis open to new companies, as well as companies already working with FareShare that would like to redistribute additional surplus food. It can also be used to unlock harder to reach surplus food, such as food found further up the supply chain.

Companies could be eligible for up to £50,000 funding which can cover additional staff costs needed for packing and sorting, in building and implementing new processes, packaging and transportation costs, or lost income from the sale of surplus to animal feed or anaerobic digestion.

To find out more about the FareShare Surplus with Purpose Fund go