Students, lecturers and members of the local community are flocking to the quickly expanding food share at Accrington and Rossendale College; with bags of food available for a donation. Saving families money, and food from landfill.

Accrington and Rossendale College are very proud of the continuing and growing success of their initiative to sponsor the Fair Share Food Group. This project which has, as its key objective, the reduction of food waste takes short coded and out of date products and makes the food available to students, staff and the local community. This food has previously been returned to a warehouse in Preston from supermarkets and would otherwise go to landfill.

Accrington and Rossendale College provide transport to collect the food and warehousing space from where it is made available. There is no charge for the food, which is also available for people in real need, but a donation of £5 is suggested from those who can afford to cover running costs and make the project financially sustainable. A donation is made to the Preston warehouse according to the number of trays of food collected and other operating costs include an employee who organises the volunteers and who makes the food available for collection on a Wednesday morning. It really is a group effort for the benefit of the community. People are free to choose the food they want and then donate what they can afford and what they think is fair.

The Fair Share Food Group was created on the initiative of staff member James Crane and Assistant Principal Charlotte Scheffmann who is involved in a similar project outside the College and who understood the success of a project in Rossendale run by Positive Start, a voluntary youth organisation which works to enable young people to achieve their full potential.

The Fair Share Food Group also provides valuable real-life warehousing experience for students of Accrington and Rossendale College and works alongside the College Restaurant – Roots -run entirely by students. Some students volunteer their time to help the project and all really benefit from it. Volunteers are always welcome, and the growing number is testimony to the obvious fact that everyone enjoy the experience of working with Accrington and Rossendale College.

Charlotte Scheffmann, Dean of Higher Education at Accrington and Rossendale College said:

“There is always a variety of food available and sometimes an excess of particular products from luxury meals and toothpaste to beetroot and we have never yet run out. I am very proud of this growing venture, we had to stay open over half term because of the demand, for some people this allows them to feed their families.”

Bev Rowley, lecturer at the College, is equally enthusiastic noting that she has saved herself over £80 a month whilst enjoying both great food and the satisfaction of knowing the Fair Share Food Group reduces waste “I’m into recycling and being green” says Bev.

Open from 9.30am to 10.30am every Wednesday morning at the Sandy Lane entrance to the College the Fair Share Food Groups is growing organically by recommendation. It has recently expanded to offer a complimentary coffee and cake service for all who use the Food share, a welcoming space to meet new people and socialise. “We are pleased to welcome everyone to the College” says Charlotte “it truly is the heart of the local community”