It starts the night before; when volunteers and staff pick the orders from our deliveries and place them in trays. These are organised by the route which the van will be travelling, and by which community food member the food is going to. The vans are then filled with the trays in the same order as the route, to allow for easy access to the right orders, and they are kept refrigerated overnight.
The next day, the drivers and their assistants arrive just before 9am. They start their day by running through a list of checks to ensure the vans are working properly. This includes testing the horns, lights, and tyres. Our 5 vans set off just after 9am, and travel from our warehouse in Brighton to members as far as Hastings, Woking, and Bognor Regis.
Today I joined Shahin on the route to Dorking. This is one of our furthest routes, with members located as far as 60 miles from our warehouse in Brighton. After a drive up the M23 we arrived at our first community food member, Mid Surrey Community Fridge , who provide food for those in need in their local community in Goodwyns, Dorking.
Following this, we stopped off at Knaphill Community Fridge, Camberley All Night Café, Dorking Community Fridge, and Dorking Christian Centre to provide them with their deliveries.
FareShare Sussex are currently looking to expand our reach into Surrey through a project with partners Neat2Eat and Foodwise, which will help us to double the number of people we can help. You can help us do this by voting for us to gain funding from Your Fund Surrey here.
When the van returns, we empty out all of the trays which the food was delivered in so that they can be cleaned. There is then a checklist for cleaning the vans down and noting mileage to ensure they are ready to go back out on the road tomorrow.
When we are all finished we return to the volunteer kitchen for a delicious hot lunch made from surplus food by one of our volunteer chefs’ Ronnie.