Cambridge FoodCycle takes surplus food from local supermarkets and groceries to cook free, delicious and nutritious meals for the local community, and in particular those suffering from food poverty. They currently offer 2 weekly community meals: one at Wesley Methodist Church at 12.30pm on Saturdays, and one as a family supper at 6.30pm on the first and third Wednesday of the month at Barnwell Baptist Church. Sign up to become a volunteer here.
The Gleaning Network coordinates volunteers, farmers and food redistribution charities in order to salvage the thousands of tonnes of fresh fruit and vegetables that are wasted on farms every year across the UK and Europe, and direct this fresh, nutritious food to people in need. People from Cambridge regularly glean from farms in Cambridgeshire, south Lincolnshire and Norfolk.
Gleaning Network UK is fast expanding to become a nationwide project. From their start in 2012 to the end of 2015, the Gleaning Network gleaned 188 tonnes of produce – equal to more than 2 million portions of fruit and veg – with over 1,000 volunteers across 99 gleaning days. There are already hubs in London & Essex, Kent, Sussex, the North West (Lancashire & Merseyside), West England (from Warwickshire to Bristol) and East England (Cambs, South Lincs and Norfolk).
Over the next few years they hope to bring gleaning to further corners of the UK, to work with more farmers, volunteers, communities and charities — and ramping up their campaign to end food waste on farms!
Sign up to their gleaning list here.
• Cambridge City Council Recycling Champions
The Recycling Champions, who receive regular training, attend events and stalls around Cambridge on all aspects of recycling. This includes food waste – the team have a wide range of promotional Love Food Hate Waste materials and free items to give out to the public, including rice measurers, compost caddies, spaghetti measures, recipe cards and bag clips. These stalls are eye-catching and popular. Recycling Champions also provide a local information point on avoiding food waste in their own areas. To find out more and to apply to volunteer, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01223 458240.
• Cambridge City Council
Community Action Days take place in Summer and Autumn in specific neighbourhoods around Cambridge. They are a day for the community to come together, share a BBQ, recycle, exchange items, use Council provided skips to throw out unwanted items and help each other with gardening and clearing out. Cambridge Sustainable Food often holds a stall at Community Actions Days, spreading the word about how people can create healthy meals in a sustainable way, reducing both food waste and meat consumption.