Along with the occasional written or speaking questions about FareShare which can be obtained from the Hansard or TheyWorkForYou website there is also another way in which FareShare has been mentioned in Parliament occasionally through the Early Day Motions that MPs outside of Government raise. There is another website that lists the EDMs which were set out by Margaret Thatcher towards the end of her role as Prime Minister. The first EDM that was set out was published on the 21st November 1989 and since then there have been an additional 54,475 EDMs and understandably there have not been very many ones that include FareShare. However there are a total of 13 EDMs that include FareShare in the text that can be obtained from here. Three of them were entitled FareShare and the first was set out back in 2009 and it related to “FareShare for Leeds”. Three years later there was one that was established in December 2012 so 10 years ago and it was entitled “Tesco, The Trussell Trust and FareShare”. It was submitted by Bob Russell from the Liberal Democrat Party and one of the 13 MPs who endorsed it were Peter Bottomley from Worthing West who was the first person to add his name to it after Bob. The text was
That this House congratulates the supermarket company Tesco, in partnership with charitable organisations the Trussell Trust and FareShare, who support almost 1,000 food banks and local community initiatives between them, for organising a two-day donation scheme whereby customers could give non-perishable food to be passed to those in need; notes that this is the largest food collection ever undertaken in the UK, with donated food valued at almost 2 million including approximately 600,000 worth of goods donated by Tesco; applauds staff and volunteers for operating the donation scheme in more than 800 Tesco stores; and thanks those customers who generously considered the needs of those less fortunate than themselves to assist the Trussell Trust which has nearly 300 foodbanks and FareShare which supports more than 700 charities and community projects.
Less than a week later there was another EDM which did not mention FareShare in the title which was “Addressing food poverty with food industry surpluses” but they did mention it in the document. It was submitted by Karl Turner who is Labour and again Peter Bottomley was the next person to sign it and a week later Caroline Lucas from Brighton Pavilion signed it. A total of 25 MPs were involved. The text for the document was
That this House recognises the significant and deepening problem of food poverty in communities across the UK and notes the important role that hon. Members can play in championing the issue both within Parliament and within their own constituencies; further recognises the critical role that leading food charity FareShare plays by working with the food industry and community groups to address food poverty by making good use of surplus food fit for human consumption; calls on community leaders including local councillors to show leadership on the issue and work with FareShare, hon. Members, community groups and the food industry to alleviate levels of food poverty; and further calls on responsible food businesses to recognise the important role that they can play in alleviating food poverty by working with FareShare to utilise food surpluses.
Six months later another Labour MP Grahame Morris set out one with “FareShare” as the total entitle and Peter Bottomley signed it a few days later. There were a total of 47 MPs that had endorsed it and the text was
That this House acknowledges the innovative partnership between FareShare, Asda and its suppliers to distribute 1,500 tonnes per year of surplus chilled and fresh food to charities and community organisations across the UK; commends Asda’s donation of £100,000 to grow FareShare’s capacity to receive this additional food which is a 41 per cent increase in the total amount of all food currently redistributed by FareShare in a year; recognises the excellent work of Asda and FareShare in both reducing food waste and tackling food poverty; and notes that this is the first national partnership of its kind on this scale and a model of best practice for the UK grocery retail sector, providing up to 3.6 million meals per year and saving the charity FareShare £4.5 million, freeing up much-needed money for investment in other essential services.
The most recent EDM which related to FareShare was submitted by Neil Parish who is a Conservative MP and there was a total of 64 signatures. It was submitted in February 2021 and the title was “Support to tackle food waste”. Two of the signatures came from Peter Bottomley and Lloyd Russell-Moyle who is the MP for Brighton Kemptown.
That this House recognises the valuable work of FareShare, the UK’s biggest charity fighting hunger and food waste, in providing two million meals per week to people in need during the covid-19 pandemic; acknowledges that it is deeply regrettable that two million tonnes of food goes to waste in the UK every year, as well as noting that food waste has a significant negative environmental impact, which can be mitigated by FareShare’s work with British farmers and the food industry to divert waste food to people’s plates through their Surplus With Purpose scheme; and encourages the Government to continue to support FareShare in that endeavour.
There have been a total of the 13 EDMs with FareShare included and the three Sussex MPs mentioned have signed these ones and also each of them have signed another EDM which are three seperate EDMs. It would be fantastic if perhaps they could agree to sign any future FareShare EDMs and perhaps they could focus on the Government funding the FareShare charities so that more surplus food could be provided for people who lack the funds to supply food for them very easily, given the current situation that our nation is facing.