EU-Funded FEAD programme channels non-perishable food through FoodCloud Hubs to those most in need.
Under an European Programme, social enterprise FoodCloud Hubs and the Department of Employment Affairs & Social Protection are working together to provide food to the most deprived in Ireland. The FEAD Programme (Fund for European Aid to most Deprived) assists long term rough sleepers and homeless, children in low income households, victims of domestic violence in shelters and refuges and many other vulnerable people in our society.
I recently visited the FoodCloud Hub in Cork to see how the programme was progressing.
The FoodCloud and FoodCloud Hub models have proven to work incredibly well in managing food surplus and unsold food between retailers, the food industry and local charities. Now, thanks to EU funding, the FEAD programme provides non-perishable food to those most in need in a very structured and sustained way. Given the tonnes of food waste in Ireland alone, this programme is a win-win.
Through FEAD, FoodCloud Hubs are responsible for procurement, storage and distribution of the non-perishable goods, such as breakfast cereals, porridge, soups, pasta and rice, canned vegetables among others. The foodstuffs are then provided to eligible organisations based on a regular, specified food collection schedule.
Eimear Delahunty of FoodCloud Cork Hub told me that they've had growing support from the food industry in Ireland, with over 100 businesses now supplying surplus. Much of this food tends to be fresh and perishable food. The addition of the FEAD programme has been fantastic for their 150 partner charities. They now have a supply of store-cupboard items such as tea and rice that are a perfect addition to their surplus products. This has had huge benefits for their organisations both in terms of savings and services delivered.
For more information on how to apply for FEAD, please visit https://food.cloud/fead/