Marcus, Melanie and the story of our (not-quite-finished) new depot

In 2020, we’ve managed to provide 5.5 million meal portions to tens of thousands of people in need across Greater Manchester. This wouldn’t have been possible without the inspiring work of Marcus Rashford and his mum, Melanie.

Marcus has been instrumental this year in helping the whole FareShare Network to raise millions to provide meals for children and families who might not otherwise eat during the COVID-19 crisis.

In October, he brought his mum Melanie to visit our new warehouse, which will be named Melanie Maynard House in recognition of her and other parents like her who work tirelessly to provide for their children in difficult circumstances.

Marcus’ and Melanie’s inspiring story has been documented in the BBC’s new documentary, Marcus Rashford: Feeding Britain’s Children.

Reliance on FareShare GM food has reached unprecedented levels during the pandemic. Between 50,000 and 60,000 people and some 230 frontline charities currently depend on FareShare GM each week.

Thanks to Marcus and his national campaign to raise awareness of child food poverty, we have managed to deliver more than 2,300 tonnes of food to people in need across Greater Manchester since the outbreak of COVID-19 in March.

However, our work is far from over. Even before the pandemic began, there were already 620,000 people struggling in Greater Manchester and extreme poverty was rapidly growing in the UK. More than a million households and half a million children experienced destitution at some point in 2019. The North West is one of the country’s worst affected regions.

Melanie Maynard House will significantly improve our capacity, allowing us to provide over 7 million meals a year to those in need. But even though the building has a new name and a plaque waiting to go on the wall, it isn’t yet finished. Building work is ongoing, funded by our capital appeal.

We’ve received amazing support so far; now there’s only £200,000 to go for us to fund the complete refurbishment.

This year has been like no other, with more families stretched to the brink than ever before. It’s thanks to people like Marcus Rashford, his family, and all our fantastic supporters, volunteers and frontline charities that we’ve been able to provide so many meals for people in need. But the need isn’t going to go away in 2021 – if anything it will get greater. That’s why our new building is so important, and even though FareShare’s got Marcus Rashford on the team, we still need everyone’s support to get the ball over the line.

Miranda Kaunang, Head of Development at FareShare GM

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The food waste hierarchy calls for food to feed people first

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