Growing demand for food distribution scheme

Environment and climate
Jonathan Cox and Joanna Lodge from UKHarvest stood in front of the Nourished van

Photograph: Jonathan Cox and Joanna Lodge from UKHarvest

A charity that redistributes surplus food back into the community is looking to work with more farmers and growers due to growing demand.

UKHarvest is a West Sussex based, not-for-profit redistribution operation. Equipped with a fleet of vans, large warehouses and a team of volunteers, it collects perishable produce directly from farms and provides assistance to charities and vulnerable people in London and Southeast England.

Alongside food distribution, It also puts a strong focus on education and community engagement through its NourishEd initiative. 

Operations and Compliance Manager Simon Thresher said: “The demand on our service, support and at food hubs continues to grow and therefore the need for donations also grows. Fresh fruit and vegetables, dairy, eggs and any surplus butchered meat or poultry would be very well received.”

One of its main suppliers is food and farming business Barfoots, based close to UK Harvest near Bognor Regis. The NFU member has been supporting the charity since it was founded in 2017.

It says UKHarvest makes the process incredibly easy. Barfoots lets them know that produce is available and they come and collect it. They are also happy to reprocess, including decanting large pallets to smaller individually wrapped produce.

UKHarvest also host Barfoots on regular volunteering days, which in addition to providing a team building, insightful and rewarding experience, provides much needed support to the charity.

Barfoots Chief Operations Officer Keston Williams said: “If we can provide those who are less fortunate than most with the opportunity to eat our vegetables, then donating our surplus produce is simply the right thing to do.”

UKHarvest receives food from across the supply chain. Out of the 156 tonnes coming direct from farms, Barfoots has donated almost half. The benefit of receiving farm produce is that can be used across all of UKHarvest’s community initiatives, including its education programmes, community food hubs and Nourish hub.  

“Barfoots’ food donations allow us the opportunity to achieve our goal to provide a healthy nutritious diet to all by saving food that would otherwise be sent to landfill.”

UK Harvest Operations and Compliance Manager Simon Thresher



Simon Thresher said: “Barfoots’ food donations allow us the opportunity to achieve our goal to provide a healthy nutritious diet to all by saving food that would otherwise be sent to landfill.”

UKHarvest CEO Yvonne Thomson added: “"Barfoots was one of the first food producers to support our mission, for which we would like to say a huge thank you.

“We truly value their unending support, as they continue to provide a significant amount of fresh and healthy food, that is paramount to our communities in preventing food insecurity.

“The growing need for a variety of wholefoods is apparent in every aspect of our operation and we welcome the opportunity to work directly with farmers and producers.”

If you are close to Hampshire, Sussex or Surrey, and have produce you are looking to donate, you can call UKHarvest on 01243 696940(opt 1) or complete the web enquiry form.

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