What is Foodshare?
Foodshare is a national not-for-profit, volunteer-powered charity which connects growers (schools, allotments, community and kitchen gardeners) with local charities. Our vision is for every school to have a Foodshare Bed and every grower to sow a little extra and share their surpluses with local charities that feed people. It’s a fulfilling and brand new way to give!
The original pilot scheme in Milton, Cambridgeshire, UK was a huge success with over £1,500 of fresh produce donated to the local Children’s Hospice in just three months by the local primary school and allotment. In 2010, Foodshare launched across the UK with the over 250 charities signing up within three days to find Food Philanthropists – growers sharing surpluses or setting up a dedicated Foodshare Bed. Since then, over £100,000 of produce has been donated worldwide, with over 7,000 school children already “Growing to Give” across the UK, with other countries to follow.
Foodshare has made national news headlines on the BBC, has been featured on BBC Radio 4′s Gardeners’ Question Time, ITV, BBC1 Breakfast as well as on the front cover of national magazines including ‘Grow Your Own’. The project has been endorsed by and promoted to 10,000+ members of the RHS Gardening for Schools Campaign and the 100,000+ members of the National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners.
The Queen and the Prime Minster have sent personal congratulations to schools taking part and Prince Charles has donated some of his own runner beans to the school project. Foodshare is a founder member of the Government-supported Taskforce exploring the potential of Food Growing in Every School.
Our vision is for every school to have a Foodshare Garden, so that each child can learn about growing and experience the joy of sharing with their community.
The other main aims of Foodshare are to:
- Reduce the spiraling food bills of charities
- Produce locally-grown, seasonal and fresh produce to those that will benefit the most
- Reduce food waste by distributing surplus food to charities instead of landfill or compost heaps
- Reduce the food miles of charities.
To find out more out Foodshare in your area or to sign up, enter your post/zip code in the search box to the right.
ABOUT THE FOUNDERS
Foodshare was set up by Mark Desvaux and Daniel Spencer in 2010. They are grateful to the glut of courgettes on Mark’s allotment that summer that gave them the idea of sharing surplus veggies, which quickly transformed into a national growing and education Charity.
EVERYONE WHO MAKES IT HAPPEN
We are grateful to all our volunteers, Foodshare Ambassadors, head teachers and most importantly the thousands of children who have inspired us by their enthusiasm and made this project such an amazing journey so far. You are our fuel! We are grateful to Milton Primary School (the first Foodshare School), members of the Milton Allotment and the East Anglia Children’s Hospice (the first Foodshare Charity) for helping make the the Foodshare vision a reality. To get involved with Foodshare, please contact our Chairman Mark Desvaux.
Foodshare Ambassadors help spread the Foodshare vision worldwide.
DR ROWAN WILLIAMS – GLOBAL FOODSHARE AMBASSADOR We are delighted to announce our first Global Foodshare Ambassador, Dr Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury. “I am delighted to be a Global Ambassador for Foodshare. The enthusiasm, the skill and the motivation of the young people involved with Foodshare has captured the imagination in a big way. Food doesn’t just come off shelves, it requires work and it requires thought. Children involved in Foodshare learn about nutrition, they learn about the stresses people can be under because of food shortage and above all they learn the possibility of working for the good of other people.”
FOODSHARE SCHOOL AMBASSADORS
We are delighted to announce our first two Foodshare School Ambassadors:
- FIONA O’SHEA
- CATHERINE PHILLIPS
Fiona and Catherine were instrumental in the launch of very first Foodshare school – Milton Primary in Cambridge, England. They have worked tirelessly to grow the success of the school’s Foodshare programme year on year and have hosted such luminaries as Dr Rowan Williams, as well as receiving letters from the Prime Minister, the Queen and Prince Charles congratulating them on the success of their programme. Do you know of anyone who you feel should be recognised for their contribution to Foodshare? If so, please tell us about their work by contacting us.
We are very grateful to have Penney Poyzer as our patron. Penney is author of “No Waste Like Home” and presenter of the popular BBC series of the same name. She was listed as “100 Woman Who Have Changed the World” by the Independent. Penney is currently working with an amazing team to roll Foodshare across all of Nottinghamshire in the UK. Our vision and goal is to create a Foodshare “Greenprint” for cities and towns around the world to launch and create Foodshare in their community.