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Food Handouts Rise In Britain As Economy Bites

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Britain has seen a sharp rise in the number of people receiving food handouts, according to a charity.


FareShare, which redistributes surplus food from major manufacturers and supermarkets to social care charities, said its donations now go to 35,000 people a day, an increase from 29,000 last year.


It follows the largest ever yearly rise in the number of charities asking for help from FareShare - from 600 to 700.


Of the charities surveyed by the organisation, 42% reported an increase in demand for food in the past year.


A third of the charities surveyed are facing Government funding cuts, with 65% of these charities slashing food budgets to stay afloat, FareShare said.


Lindsay Boswell, chief executive of FareShare, said: "At a time of unprecedented demand we want the food industry and the general public to increase their support."


FareShare has been in operation as an independent charity since 2004 and has 17 locations around the UK. It distributes daily to organisations such as homeless hostels, day centres, breakfast clubs and women's refuges.


Mr Boswell added: "This research supports the growing anecdotal evidence we've seen in recent months - more people are getting in touch with FareShare asking for help to access food.


"We're committed to working with grassroots charities to make a significant difference to the diets of people in communities all over the UK but we need more food to meet this increased demand.


"We're asking anyone who works in the food industry in any capacity to look at what is happening to their surplus food and to ask themselves a simple question: 'Could this food stop someone going hungry?'"