Food redistribution centre plays big part in social value initiative

A unique enterprise is delivering one of the most successful offender rehabilitation programmes of its kind in the UK to create social value worth millions of pounds, with food redistribution playing a big part in it’s success.

Recycling Lives has reduced reoffending rates, supported homeless men to regain their independence, and delivered meals to community groups; to create a saving to society worth £5.2m in one year alone.

Recycling Lives has now published its annual Social Value figures, with one initiative showing that its food re distribution Centre created social value worth £2.3m by delivering meals to charitable groups. It delivered 698,000 meals via 106 charitable groups across Lancashire and Cumbria, helping groups save around £7,900 annually in food costs and diverting 293 tonnes of food from landfill in the process.

St Catherine’s Hospice – the charity, which provides specialist palliative care in central Lancashire, uses goods from the Food Redistribution Centre to cater for the tastes and dietary requirements of patients for its 19-bed in-patient unit and day therapy unit. Being a member of the Centre means it saves a significant amount on food costs – funds which can then be used elsewhere for the charity: “The food helps us to offer more choice for our patients and assists us in meeting their personal preferences and needs – helping to improve their quality of life.”

Recycling Lives Group Managing Director William Fletcher said: “Recycling Lives is changing the way business is done. We are leading the way in showing that businesses don’t have to choose between commercial success or social return for the communities they serve. We achieve both and are committed to growing our charity programmes in line with our business growth and creating social value equal to or greater than 10% of annual sales.

PHOTO: St Catherine’s Hospice – Nicola Hanmer (right), commercial catering manager in the kitchen at St Catherine’s Hospice, which receives goods from Recycling Lives’ Food Redistribution Centre