Committed to caring—SEO.London/Zelezny.co.uk partner with FareShare

SEO.London/Zelezny.co.uk has pledged to make monthly donations to the registered charity FareShare, to support their ongoing fight against hunger and food waste in the UK.

It was only one of the myriad problems that the UK has had to face during the Coronavirus pandemic. Yet, national issues of poverty and hunger have become paramount to many seeing first hand, the impact they have in their communities.

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Marcus Rashford and the free school meals campaign

At several points throughout the year, Marcus Rashford seemed to single-handedly raise awareness to serious issues of child hunger and poverty that made the nation sit up and listen. Utilising his status and celebrity platform, he brought about real change in the system that the whole country could be proud of.

As parents, Lukasz and Parul Zelezny—the directors here at SEO.London—were inspired by his plight. It was too easy to empathise the levels of heartbreak and frustration that being unable to provide the most basic essentials for your family would deliver. Evoking strong emotion—as Rashford’s efforts created among so many of us—and shocked by the lack of support for those in such obvious need, the Zeleznys decided they would take steps to provide a little help of their own.

Running their successful SEO and digital marketing business has delivered the lifestyle that many in our country are fortunate to experience. Providing for our families is a simpler, easily managed part of our daily lives. It isn’t anything like the same experience as those struggling to find the money for basic necessities—for the food and drink they need to survive.

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Partnering with FareShare—isn’t it time we all made our own small steps to help?

Fighting hunger and tackling food waste is the charity provider’s motto. They have built a community of people who believe in what they do, actively helping to redistribute surplus food to charities, turning what would be wasted resources into meals for those who need them. They change lives—every day.

At the time of writing, FareShare has redistributed over 24 thousand tonnes of food to over 10 thousand charities and community groups.

That’s the equivalent of over 57 million meals for vulnerable people.
The type of impact the service makes doesn’t happen by magic. They can only provide the much-needed support they deliver with their volunteers’ help and with the food and financial donations provided by businesses and people just like you. To date, the food they have saved from destruction and redistributed has an estimated value of over £14 million.

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2019/2020—FareShare’s biggest year to date

With charities working harder than ever to meet the needs of those going without, FareShare wasn’t alone in hitting record numbers of those receiving their support.

They were responsible for food provision to over 933 thousand people every week.

The double impact of waste prevention and food redistribution

NEF Consulting carried out a socio-economic impact report into how FareShare’s work helps in several different sectors.

By collecting food that would otherwise go to waste, FareShare saves the economy £51 million each year.

By redistributing resources to where they’re desperately needed, it creates a social-economic impact of £50.9 million. £6.9 million in social value, which goes to the beneficiaries themselves, and £44 million in savings to the State: that’s the NHS, the criminal justice system, schools, and social care.

Another report, this time by NatCen, called Saving Money, Improving Lives, delivered the following data from frontline organisations providing direct help to service users.

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  • One in five charities would have to close without the support of FareShare.
  • 75% say they are better positioned to engage with the services their users need, providing them with adequate support.
  • Supported charities estimate it would cost them almost £8 thousand each year to replace the food they receive from FareShare.
  • 77% of providers say that their service users’ diets have improved because of FareShare’s food provisions.
  • 53% of service users announced improved physical strength and 52% said their energy levels are higher.
  • 82% of services users feel part of the community, simply by sharing a meal with one of FareShare’s partner charities.

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The plight of a new kind of footballing legend

Manchester United create footballers renowned for hitting the headlines. This year, the featured headlines of almost every national paper in the newsstands, weren’t what sports lovers were typically used to. The actions and efforts of Marcus Rashford drew attention to a campaign designed to combat child hunger that the current UK Government were slow to support.

“Rashford 2 Johnston 0” – Judy Murray, tennis coach, via Twitter

Rashford twice forced the Government to backtrack its decisions and provide aid for vulnerable families during the pandemic.

The first happened as the Government rejected Rashford’s request to continue providing support to some of England’s poorest families through the summer holidays. Initially, the £15 per week term-time food vouchers weren’t to be continued through the holidays, despite the impact the state of the country was having on so many low-income families.

However, backed by widespread public support, Rashford and his army of fans forced a Government U-turn, and the vouchers continued their rollout.

The second U-turn delivered a £170 million winter grant scheme designed to support the same vulnerable families. There would be an extension of holiday activities and a food programme that reached as far as the Easter, summer and Christmas school holidays of 2021. In total, the initiative would support 1.7 million children in the UK, much to the football star’s satisfaction.

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Marcus Rashford MBE

These efforts—utilising his popularity to sway the Government, desperate to retain a little favour of their own—earned him an MBE on the Queen’s birthday honours list for his continued campaigning. Surprised to be receiving the award, he said,

“As a young black man from Wythenshawe, never did I think I would be accepting an MBE, never mind an MBE at the age of 22.”

Taking advantage of yet another ideal opportunity to drive his point home, he added,

“The fight to protect our most vulnerable children is far from over. I would be doing my community, and the families I have met and spoken with, an injustice if I didn’t use this opportunity to respectfully urge the prime minister, who recommended me for this honour, to support our children during the October half-term with an extension of the voucher scheme, as the furlough scheme comes to an end and we face increased unemployment.”

It’s obviously an issue close to his heart. Rashford’s family relied on free school meals as the young footballer grew up, so it’s no surprise that he has a genuine connection to those in the same boat. His link to the families who need this extra helping hand are the families he grew up with.

He continues to use Twitter to get his point across, an ideal medium to reach his many supporters by the simplest means:

“I don’t have the education of a politician, many on Twitter have made that clear today, but I have a social education having lived through this and having spent time with the families affected”.

“These children matter. These children are the future of this country. They are not just another statistic, and for as long as they don’t have a voice, they will have mine. You have my word on that.”

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The Marcus Rashford and FareShare connection
Rashford and his mother, Melanie, visited the Greater Manchester warehouse in October 2020, where the charity had expanded into a new unit. The new unit has been named Melanie Maynard House after Rashford’s mother.
He praises her for having worked tirelessly as a single mother, providing him and his siblings with what they needed growing up. Their visit to FareShare’s warehouse included a tour of the facility and meeting the team of staff and volunteers who make sure the food stocks and supplies end up on the plates that need them the most.
In Greater Manchester alone, FareShare is distributing the equivalent of over 200 thousand meals each week. Their new warehouse provides an opportunity to treble the amount of food they distribute each week.
Food waste and hunger in the UK

If you take time to explore FareShare’s website, you’ll find a wealth of information about their ongoing battle to reduce waste and improve the efficiency of the food industry.

The following are only a few of the statistics driving celebrity supporters like Marcus Rashford to help—but also the everyday-man-on-the-street to dive in and make a difference.

  • 8.4 million people in the UK are struggling to afford to eat.
  • 1.9 million tonnes of food is wasted by the food industry in the UK every year.
  • 250 tonnes of the food that goes to waste is still edible—that’s enough for 650 million meals.
Join us and join the fight against food waste and hunger

If you’d like to provide additional support to FareShare, just like Lukasz and Parul, FareShare has options for whichever means suits you the most.

There are various roles up for grabs at their many offices, warehouses, and partner organisations. If you’d prefer to share your time rather than making a financial donation, you can find out more on their volunteering page:

  • Warehouse team leaders and assistants
  • Drivers and driver assistants
  • Administration and customer service assistants
  • Volunteer engagement staff
  • Community fundraisers

If, like Lukasz and Parul, you’d prefer to provide financial support, helping FareShare respond to the strain put on so many families and organisations during the Coronavirus pandemic, setting up a single donation or a monthly contribution is a simple process.

Whichever way you decide to help, your efforts will be appreciated by those at each step in the process. It’s never been a better time to show we care, helping where we can, putting a smile—and a little food on the plate—of those who need it the most.

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