Food & Drink
Volunteers at Portobello Road food waste event.

On the frontline of the fight against food waste on Portobello Road

Kensington & Chelsea Council brought together key players in the fight against food waste last Friday, for a Portobello Road event for #FoodWasteActionWeek which ran 7-13 March.

The Waste and Resource Action Programme, commonly known as WRAP, is the leading UK sustainability charity behind the Love Food Hate Waste brand and oversaw the week, which focused on the little things everyone can do to reduce household food waste.

Leading Kensington & Chelsea’s free, open-air event in Portobello Road Market was Aiste Gasparaviciute, 28, a member of the council’s Waste Action Team, which is a task force whose concerns span tackling household waste, increasing reuse and recycling, and keeping the borough clean and green.

Gasparaviciute said: “This event is about empowering people in the community by giving them skills and enabling them to make positive changes.”

Among the firms rallied under the stall was Olio, an app where users publish a picture of food destined for the kitchen bin, enabling interested others to come and it pick up from their door.

Olio business developer Rory Gallagher, 32, explained: “Essentially Olio is a food bank in app form, fostering a community around reducing food waste without any of the negative stigma.”

In a statement, RBKC councillor Johnny Thalassites, Lead Member for Planning, Place and Environment added: “We are already taking steps to reduce food waste in Kensington and Chelsea but around one-third of all the waste we collect in comes from food.

“Waste reduction is a major factor in how we protect our environment for the future.

“Using what we have at home is a great way to help the environment.

“At our food waste action week event residents can learn how small changes such as using leftovers or composting can help collectively reduce our food waste in the borough.”

Roughly a third of all food produced globally goes to waste, and WRAP estimate that food production and consumption is responsible for around 30% of global carbon emissions.

Despite the fact that the British food industry generates approximately three million tonnes of edible surplus food each year, many in the UK still face food insecurity.

The Felix Project is a London-based food redistribution charity that was set up to address this paradox.

In London alone, the project estimates one and a half million adults struggle to afford adequate food every day and 400,000 children are at risk of missing their next meal.

FOOD REDISTRIBUTION: The Felix Project operates in London to get surplus food to those who need it.
Credit: Laurenfrid01 (Wikimedia Commons)

By rescuing food that cannot be sold and would otherwise go to waste, the project feeds the vulnerable, the homeless, those with mental health issues or those who simply cannot afford to buy nutritious food.

The project collects or receives food from over 539 suppliers, including supermarkets, wholesalers, farms and restaurants, then sorts and delivers this food to almost one thousand charities, primary schools and holiday programmes in London.

In spite of the cost of living crisis, Love Food Hate Waste estimates that an average UK family of four wastes the equivalent of eight meals every week, cutting out which could result in savings of just over £60 per month.

Jackie Bailey, campaign manager for Love Food Hate Waste said: “This year’s campaign has been a great success.

“We’ve received over 200 pieces of media coverage and having Gregg Wallace as our celebrity ambassador has been fantastic.

“The campaign is galvanising the nation into changing habits for the better and reducing their household food waste.”

Kensington & Chelsea is stretching its waste reduction drive into this week by partnering with LOANHOOD for a ‘clothes swap and repair shop’ and with the Dalgarno Trust for a ‘repair party’, both taking place on Saturday 19 March.

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