Combatting Food Waste

Permaculture magazine
Thursday, 14th January 2016

Britain wastes over 15 million tonnes of food every year. Projects like the Stroud Food Surplus Cafe are working to combat this by turning local food waste into delicious meals for those who most need it.

The Real Junk Food Project is at it again, adding the Stroud pop-up cafe to its list of projects and communities combatting food waste.

According to the UK website, Love Food Hate Waste, over 50% of Britain's food and drink waste comes from our homes. That's seven million tonnes, and over half of this waste is still edible.

This waste costs households £470 a year and around £700 for a family with children.

The rest comes from restaurants, supermarkets and business, with the majority of which is perfectly edible, but is just past its 'sell by date'.

Stroud Food Surplus Cafe in Gloucestershire, have joined the food waste movement, opening a pop-up cafe in the Congregational Church, serving food waste from supermarkets and restaurants. All the meals will be free with donations welcome.

Community campaigner and artist, Caroline Baird, is behind the event. She spoke with the Stroud News and Journal, explaining the project.

"I was inspired by similar cafes I’d seen and was amazed that Stroud didn’t have anything like this already. We have such an active community with a number of connected community groups and charities – so I think Stroud is a perfect place for this kind of project."

The project has so far received a positive response from local people, with a range of community members offering a helping hand.

"We’ve seen support from everyone from caterers and trained chefs to graphic artists over the last few weeks.

"People can choose to support the project in many ways – it’s up to them really. People could donate money, offer to help out with the washing up, clean the tables, or help us to create artwork for café.

"As well as providing free meals to those in need, this pay-as-you-feel concept creates a sense of community."

The event takes place on Saturday January 23rd from 1-3pm at Stroud Congregational Church on Bedford Street.

Stroud Food Surplus Cafe welcome all donations, especially equipment. They are still needing utensils, crockery, large pans, spices, pitchers, tables, chairs, large roasting trays, weighing scales, table clothes, serving dishes, mixing bowls, a chalkboard, and a venue to store collected food. Get in touch with [email protected] if you can help.

For more information on the event visit

Further resources

Surplus food for those in need

Reduce your food waste - the 100 day challenge

Food waste - you gotta be joking!


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