London organisations urged to feed the vulnerable through food donation schemes

National charity FoodCycle is calling on London-based charities, community projects and faith centres to join them in the fight to tackle both food waste and poverty in the capital.

Since FoodCycle was founded seven years ago, the initiative has served 167,000 meals across the UK and 5,000 meals within London in the last six months

Since FoodCycle was founded seven years ago, the initiative has served 167,000 meals across the UK and 5,000 meals within London in the last six months

FoodCycle is calling upon others to aid in its efforts to branch out to local communities and provide full meals made from surplus supermarket foods to some of London’s most vulnerable individuals. These include people who are homeless, suffer from mental health issues, are living with HIV and individuals with disabilities.

Chief Executive of FoodCycle Mary McGrath commented: “London is an amazing city, but for too many people hunger, isolation and loneliness is a daily reality. Through our community meals, we aim to support people in need all across the capital, so we’re looking for partner organisations that will join us to make a difference in their local area.”

A number of FoodCycle projects throughout the city are already run in collaboration with community partners such as housing association Outward, volunteering service Rushey Green Time Bank and centres of faith such as the All Saint’s Church and the West London Synagogue.

Since FoodCycle was founded seven years ago, the initiative has served 167,000 meals across the UK and 5,000 meals within London in the last six months, utilising eight tonnes of surplus food.

Circular economy app

The news comes just two days after a revolutionary new app ‘Too Good To Go’ gained media traction. Too Good To Go is a social enterprise dedicated to reducing food waste, allowing people with the app to get heavily discounted meals made from leftover restaurant food that would otherwise be thrown away.

The app opened in Denmark in late 2015 and is now available throughout the UK, with restaurants in London, Brighton and Leeds providing meals through the service. Too Good claims to have around 95 restaurants signed up to the app in London alone.

Government initiatives

Governmental departments are also beginning to implement new standards and initiatives to mitigate the growing amount of food waste. The committee for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) recently launched a new enquiry to identify the impacts of the seven million tonnes of food waste produced in the UK. In releasing this enquiry, EFRA aims to find the most effective solution to reduce retailer food waste.

As for food waste initiatives within the capital, there is increasing pressure on new London Mayor Sadiq Khan, to embrace a food waste-driven circular economy. In an exclusive blog written for edie.net, managing director of Bio collectors Paul Killoughery said that in Khan's campaign to be the 'greenest mayor ever', he must push businesses to tackle food waste as part of his environmental policies. Whilst Khan has been vocal on other green issues within the capital, he has failed to address food waste.

Alex Baldwin


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