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Alongside our response to Covid-19, here at FareShare Sussex we have been busy piloting a project using electric vehicles to collect and deliver surplus food thanks to funding from WRAP.

While we excitedly await delivery of an electric cargo bike, we have been focussed on trialling our new refrigerated electric van which has been on the road since early August. So far we have delivered a total of 7.5 tonnes to 20 different charities in the local area, all in this zero emissions van. This provided the equivalent of 17,857 meals to 2906 beneficiaries.

From next week the van will be joining our rota of morning deliveries, sending food as far as Horsham and Arundel as well as local projects in Brighton.

One of our volunteer drivers is Simon. Simon joined us during lockdown, driving two days a week for the last five months.

I’d seen the vans around because I live locally and when I found out what they were doing I thought I’d like to get involved. That thought stayed in the back of my mind for a year or two until I found myself out of work due to Covid 19. I needed something to do, and they needed drivers so the timing was perfect. The first day I turned up I was sat down and offered tea and lunch and introduced to people immediately, it was so welcoming and relaxed!

Simon has a passion for sustainable transport and drives a hybrid car himself.

Zero emissions vehicles are literally the future of transport. We all know that petrol and diesel vehicles are bad for our health and the environment, and zero emissions technology will keep on improving… FareShare is all about reducing food waste, and that’s beneficial environmentally as well as socially – so if we can reduce our emissions in the meantime that’s a positive thing to aim for.

We are looking for more volunteers to join this exciting project, particularly people interested in becoming an e-cargo bike rider. Check out the role description below and contact Lara to register your interest.

Simon went on to tell us:

It’s great to know you’re doing some clear and immediate good for your local area; that makes you feel good at the end of the day. Plus it’s good fun and everyone’s nice and friendly. Now I look forward to coming in before every shift.

 If you’re thinking of volunteering at FareShare I’d say don’t put it off, just do it! Give them a ring and see. Be prepared for some fairly heavy lifting in warehouse/driving roles though!

 You’ll definitely receive a warm welcome whatever your age or background.