A Deptford charity that distributes surplus food across the UK says demand for services has gone up 300 per cent since it began.

FareShare, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, tackles hunger by redistributing surplus food and drink that would otherwise be chucked away.

The charity set up its first centre in Blackhorse Road, Deptford, provides about 1.4 million meals in London alone.

Last year it saw 686 tonnes of food to more than 150 charities and community groups in the capital, helping to feed thousands every day.

But now those behind the project claim more can be done and say with demand for services rising considerably, too much food and drink is still thrown away, despite it being edible and in date.

CEO Lindsay Boswell said: “Over the past decade – UK wide – we’ve redistributed enough surplus to provide over 67m meals.

“We are only using 1.5 per cent of surplus food.

“We have a huge challenge in the future in getting further into the supply chain to meet ever growing demand for our services but we have a solid and sustainable solution to food poverty which can help tackle an ever growing issue.”

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FareShare says the country could be losing out on millions of spare dinners.

It estimates around 800m meals from ‘hidden food’ could be used to help more than five million people living in poverty.