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EV Cargo company CM Downton has added its logistics expertise to a project aimed at tackling food poverty in Gloucestershire

They have joined forces with FareShare South West and other voluntary groups to transport pallets of surplus ambient food from the charity’s warehouse in Bristol to a redistribution point in Gloucester.

From there the supplies, which would have otherwise gone to waste, will be sent to food banks across the county, benefiting hundreds of local families.

Every week for the next six weeks Downton will collect around 10 pallets from the warehouse at Ashton Gate stadium. Driver John Smith was behind the wheel of the first lorry to make the 70-mile round trip on behalf of the newly-formed Gloucester FareShare Partnership.

Extra muscle from Gloucester Rugby Club was recruited to help with unloading the first consignments at St Barnabus Church Hall. These included star players Ben Morgan, Jason Woodward, Jake Polledri and Willie Heinz, and members of Gloucester Fire Service also added to the manpower.

Zac Brown, CM Downton managing director, said: “FareShare South West does a fantastic job in the local community, especially at this difficult time, so when we were approached for help in distributing their surplus food as part of the Gloucester FareShare partnership we were only too happy to do our bit.

“Downton has always had a close relationship with Gloucester Rugby, so it was great that they were able to send some players down. The squad are currently in training for the resumption of the Premiership season, so hopefully they benefited from a little extra weight training!”

FareShare South West was formed in 2007 to help tackle the food poverty issue in the South West by redistributing surplus food across the region. By using quality, in-date surplus food which would otherwise have gone to waste, they aim to turn an environmental problem into a social solution.

Jennie Layhe, who runs the Court Community Association which has partnered with Gloucester FareShare, said: “The project has been phenomenal and definitely worth everyone’s hard work and support. So many people have suffered and struggled during this pandemic and each one of us has hopefully made things just a little bit easier.”

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