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In mid-June, I started at FareShare Sussex as a Fundraising and Communications Intern, which has been an incredible opportunity to work in a charity that tackles two of the most pressing issues currently: food waste and food poverty. Through previous experience of working with charities and non-profit organisations, I have always been passionate about working for projects which focus on impactful solutions for local problems. These past few months I have had the amazing chance to work alongside enthusiastic individuals who constantly seek to just do this. 

Studying anthropology and international development at Sussex has really aided me in the theoretical background of food poverty and environmental issues of waste, but my experience working at FareShare has thoroughly broadened my practical approach to solving these problems in an invaluable way. I was absolutely astounded by the immense amount of organisation that is required to source food and distribute it out to over 160 community food projects, but even more in amazement of the volunteers and staff who ensured that each project had a consistent source of quality food every single day. It has been an amazing learning experience to understand the struggles of sourcing food and the constant problem-solving that my colleagues do in order to guarantee projects have food.

In doing a wide variety of tasks, I have built new confidence in interpersonal communication such as finding suppliers to stock our warehouse, thanking our amazing donors for their support and promoting the fantastic fundraising projects that the community and FareShare have organised. My main task has been social media management, which has been particularly enjoyable as I love anything creative. This has fed into my enthusiasm for making an interactive and engaging community resource pack on how to reduce food waste. I was also very lucky to be part of helping the development of the Surrey project, which made clear to me how necessary food support was even in the richest areas of the UK through contacting charities and schools in Surrey and listening to their stories of issues within their local communities. 

Another amazing part of my job here has been working in the warehouse with the volunteers who I am always in awe of their generosity and motivation, and going out in the vans to deliver food has been a wonderful experience to appreciate the wide range of local community projects which work so hard to alleviate food poverty. It was really interesting to be on the ground, sorting through the food we receive, and seeing the vast quantities that would have otherwise gone to waste, such as courgettes stacked up to the ceiling and packets of cherries that couldn’t go to the food projects due to food standard regulations which my housemates were happy to demolish! It was also surprising to see the wide variety of food that arrived- I was shocked walking into the warehouse one day to find oysters! 

What I have learnt at FareShare will prove invaluable for any future employment or projects I will be involved with, as I gained a fuller understanding of the needs for a charity to run well, and how to tackle some of the most pressing issues that we face today. I have been incredibly fortunate to work alongside such an amazing team who have been supportive, motivating and just really good fun! I cannot thank everyone enough for being so welcoming over the past two months- and I am very much going to miss the amazing lunches!