Sunday, 26 July 2020
How MY community food shop works
This photo is from my wee community food shop FB page earlier this week. Just recently the council has given them this former beauty salon to use. They clearly say open to all and if you can use it then take it. Their ethos is simply to stop food waste. It's only open for 2 hours each day.
Community food shops might be different in other towns/countries but in my wee city there are lots of different ways to access 'free' food. Needing food and wanting to help reduce food waste can be 2 different things.
We have an excellent food bank service here (I won't comment further other than that it's disgraceful we even need one!!) Local supermarkets donate huge amounts of food and money through their community schemes. Local businesses and the public can donate food (and money) directly. As a school this is the main charity we support. My food bank cannot take fresh goods (bread, cakes, fruit and vegetables) and legally (for health and safety reasons) they cannot accept out of date items. They use the cash donations to buy fresh food on the days they send out food packs. To use our food bank you need to be referred.
As I mentioned in my comments yesterday to Marksgran, during lockdown a group of local cafe workers/cooks on furlough set up a kitchen to make and donate food to families. Supermarkets had a huge excess of fresh food going to waste and were happy to donate it all. Local businesses like an egg producer and a fruit farm donated produce that would have otherwise gone bad. This group of amazing people cooked and delivered meals to families and vulnerable people DAILY free of charge. No referrals, no questions asked. If you needed food, they delivered.
The community food shop grew from this. Even after taking what they needed to make the meals there was STILL a huge amount of food leftover and they began offering it to anyone who could use it. And then if there was any leftover food it went to the local safari park for the animals!!
Now that lockdown has eased and cafes are reopening the food delivery service is continuing under another group of retired ladies. They get first dibs on the excess food from supermarkets and restaurants. Remember, most of the food they use would be thrown in the bin!!
So the food bank still gets their food, the meal service still gets first choice of fresh food that cannot legally be donated to the food bank, the community shop gets what's left from the meal service and the safari park gets whatever is left at the end of the day. Supermarkets don't dump their out of date food into landfill. I think this is an amazing chain that stops food waste AND feeds people. Something positive to come from lockdown!
I'm always happy to discuss issues in my comments but if you leave a rude or insulting comment I'll simply delete you.