What a day! Saturday 15th October dawned with a beautiful blue sky and crisp freshness to the air for our Surplus Feast; over 300 meals made entirely from food that would otherwise have been wasted. An early start meant we were set up and ready for our audacious volunteers to join us in General Gordon Square at 9am for the big chop and cook. FareShare delivered copious amounts of beautiful, quality food and South East London Community Energy provided a solar powered generator, so all our electricity was powered by the sun – the perfectly sustainable day!
Fifteen beautiful people volunteered to help out and help out they did with everything from chopping, washing, cleaning, chatting and generally bringing amazing enthusiasm to raise awareness for such an important cause.
FareShare brought plenty of veg, bread, tins of beans and even jars of curry pastes, jalapeños and 4 crates of beautiful ready-chopped fruit salad that we gave away to the good people of Woolwich, most of whom were appalled to hear the staggering statistics around food that is wasted in this country. FareShare save good food destined for waste and send it to charities and community groups who transform it into nutritious meals for vulnerable people. The food they redistribute is fresh, quality and in date surplus from the food industry and when you see the volumes of food they are saving, it leaves you speechless. last year they saved over 90,000 tonnes of food from waste last year alone and helped nearly 2,500 charities! If you know of a charity that could use excellent quality food for a small membership fee, then get in contact with FareShare to find out how. Woolwich Common Community Centre is a Food Distribution Hub so you don’t have to go all the way to Deptford to pick it up, but can get it from Woolwich.
There are loads of reasons why food is wasted along the supply chains, and some of these are unavoidable, but many can be influenced by us, the consumer. For example, this Sunday volunteers with the Gleaning Network are going to Kent to save over 30,000 tonnes of apples from waste because the weather has slightly blemished their skins and they won’t meet the incredibly high cosmetic standards of the supermarkets. So as consumers we can put pressure on the supermarkets to sell so-called ‘ugly fruit and veg’, so make sure you buy it! If you’d like more information about gleaning, then contact firstname.lastname@example.org or sign up to their info here
Although there is a lot of waste in supply chains, households throw away 7 million tonnes of food waste every year; costing the average household in the region of £700 a year! There are loads of things we can do to reduce food waste in our homes from planning better and storing more effectively, writing meal plans and learning new recipes to use up leftovers. Check out Love Food Hate Waste for loads more tips, ideas and a great app to get you on your way.
We’d like to say a huge THANK YOU to all our volunteers and everyone who supported the event including the Waste Team fro Woolwich who gave out loads of advice around recycling and food composting. We’re gearing up for the next one, so if you’d like to be involved in any way, or would like more information, contact email@example.com