THE Manchester social enterprise Bounceback Food, based in Altrincham, has celebrated contributing over 5,000 meals to local foodbanks.

Duncan Swainsbury founded the social enterprise a year ago and explains how it works:

“Through my experience of volunteering in food banks I was aware that items of food that are in high demand were pasta rice and tinned food. Items of food that are the basis of lots of different staple meals.

“Every single time you buy a product from us we donate the same item to your nearest food bank via Fareshare or the Trussell Trust. They’re the two largest food bank operators in the UK.”

While the Trussell Trust mainly re-distribute food donations they receive from the general public, FareShare press officer Maria Olesen revealed they work with contributions from food retailers.

She says: “The majority of the surplus food we get from the food industry is actually fresh food so sometimes we find it harder to source tinned goods so if that’s the kind of product he provides us with that compliments the fresh food we get from retailers.”

Bounceback Food Market in Altrincham
Landmark: The Bounceback Food stall at Altrincham Market has helped the charity achieve over 1,500 donations in the past year

At Altrincham Market, Duncan celebrated a milestone for Bounceback Food:

“The way we look at how we’re impacting people’s lives and generating social impact is in the number of donations made and the number of meals we’ve contributed towards. We got over the 1,500 donations mark which translates into 5,000 meals.”

On December 4, Bounceback Food will launch its online store, allowing people from all over the UK to help tackle food poverty.

So far, Duncan has supported foodbanks in Greater Manchester, London, Brighton, and Sheffield.

According to the Trussell Trust, foodbank use increased by 19 per cent in 2014-15.  Miranda Kaunang from FareShare Greater Manchester is grateful for Bounceback Food’s contribution as food poverty is on the rise.

She says: “We’re averaging 3-5 membership inquiries a week at the moment from organisations of all different kinds who are looking to include food in the work that they’re doing helping people.

“We don’t get any people ringing up saying they don’t need the food anymore if you know what I mean.”

FareShare’s Greater Manchester division is one of 20 regional centres and it alone supports over 160 charities in the area. Overall, FareShare re-distribute food to over 2,100 charities and community projects nationwide.

As food poverty is on the rise, Bounceback Food is working hard to allow people across the country to help those in need from the comfort of their home.

By Max Merrill

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