Monday, 1 December 2014

Food Redistribution starts getting Recognised in Brighton and Hove

All photos by David Ashwanden

This past month has seen some great achievements from the Food Waste Collective in terms of raising awareness of our activities and helping to inspire others to do the same. We were nominated for newspaper the Argus’ Green Project of the Year Award (1) by Brighton and Hove Food Partnership and Tai Ray-Jones (many thanks to them), and although we did not win being shortlisted was an achievement in itself.

Community Stars 
                It seems to be the season to be awarded things; just a couple of weeks later we were invited to another awards ceremony, the Community Works Sector Stars Awards (2) held at the Brighthelm Centre on North Road. This time the FWC was nominated for ‘Small Group, Big Achiever’, sharing the awards ceremony with a plethora of exciting projects from community gardens such as Moulsecoomb Forest Garden (3) to support networks such as Grassroots Suicide Prevention (4) and creative projects such as Sing for Better Health (5). 

                As people generally interested in food and healthy eating the Food Waste Collective representatives – Vera Zakharov, Martina Mina, Caitriona Donohoe, me (Charlotte Haworth) and our Food Project Photographer David Ashwanden – were very pleased with the catering at the awards event, which was all vegan and gluten free. In spite of (or more likely because of) this, it was all also incredibly tasty.

                Having partaken in the fabulous fare we settled down for the announcements of the winners, hearing many inspirational stories of groups around the city as the evening went on. Then it came to the ‘Small Group, Big Achiever’ category; and the winner? The Food Waste Collective!
                We felt our award was justified by some of the information we shared about the FWC’s activities; for example, how we have helped to redistribute five tonnes of food which would otherwise have gone to waste. Neither the award nor the redistribution would have been possible without the support of Community Works, and of course of our parent group, Hanover Action for Sustainable Living (HASL) (6).
More redistribution
                This ‘five tonnes’ figure has since risen; last Monday 24th November saw our winter Good Food for Good Causes (GF4GC) event, during which we managed to redistribute just under two tonnes more of food, mainly dry goods such as flour, lentils and barley donated by Infinity Wholesale, as well as fruit and vegetables from TG Fruits and bread and pastries from Real Patisserie.
                This was the first GF4GC we have held in the Open Market (7), which is a much more public space than the old Municipal Market which we have previously used. The public aspect meant that as well as helping out the approximately 30 charities and community groups who came to receive food on the day, we also had an information stand to help inform unsuspecting members of the public about our work.
                To aid us in the public relations aspect we came up with the idea of ‘interactive bunting’: bunting triangles which members of the Food Waste Collective Craft Contingent had decorated with various food facts, statistics or inspirational messages and strung up around the redistribution area. The ‘interactive’ aspect was that, with the aid of permanent markers and paint pens we were encouraging volunteers, recipients, and random passersby to make their own food-inspired bunting triangles. The results ended up being rather beautiful.

                Another great thing about doing the GF4GC in a more public place was that we could share with the public all of our partner organisations such as Plan Zheroes (8), the Gleaning Network (9), Food Warriors (10) and Brighton’s newest food redistribution organisation, the Real Junk Food Project (11), who had their very first event last Thursday at Theatre Uncut (12), a series of free plays with free intercepted-food hot dinner from the Real Junk Food Project, with proceeds split between the Project and Amnesty International.

                The Open Market traders was in a generally celebratory mood, with every single trader there donating a high-quality foody gift to our festive hamper, which we entered every volunteer and charity representative into a prize draw to win.

                All in all, a rather successful month, with lots of happy Brighton and Hove residents now able to feed themselves better, and many more feeling inspired to take action to tackle the incongruities between the large amounts of food being wasted in the city, and the large number of hungry people here.
1.       Argus, 2014. ‘Night of the Shining Stars’. Argus, 3/11/14.  - retrieved 1/12/14
2.       Community Works, 2014. ‘Sector Star Awards Celebrate the City’s Amazing Community and Voluntary Activity’. - retrieved 1/12/14
3.       Moulsecoomb Forest Garden, 2014. ‘About’. - retrieved 1/12/14
4.       Grassroots Suicide Prevention, 2014. ‘Welcome’. - retrieved 1/12/14
5.       Mind, 2014. ‘Sing for Better Health Groups Brighton and Hove’. - retrieved 1/12/14
6.       HASL, 2014. ‘About Us’. - retrieved 1/12/14
7.       Brighton Open Market, 2014. ‘Wlecome’. - retrieved 1/12/14
8.       Plan Zheroes, 2014. ‘The Idea’. - retrieved 1/12/14
9.       Feedbback UK, 2014. ‘Gleaning Network’. - retrieved 1/12/14
10.   Facebook, 2014. ‘Food Warriors!!’ - retrieved 1/12/14
11.   Facebook, 2014. ‘The Real Junk Food Project Brighton’. - retrieved 1/12/14
12.   Brighton Theatre Uncut, 2014. ‘About’. - retrieved 1/12/14

Friday, 14 November 2014

Good Food for Good Causes comes to the Open Market

Our next Good Food for Good Causes surplus redistribution day will be held at the Brighton Open Market, where passers-by and visitors can check out our work linking food surplus from local businesses and local charities addressing food poverty and isolation across the city, and join our Redistribution Revolution themselves!

On 24th November, the Collective will be sharing parcels of delicious food to local food projects and community groups, just in time for the festive season which sees a rise in need for food donations.  Dry goods, bread and fresh produce donated by local businesses including Infinity – which would otherwise go to waste – will be redistributed along with recipes and tips.

Our August redistribution day at the Municipal Market on Circus Street

The Food Waste Collective's next surplus redistribution day follows hot on the heels of the successful Lantern Fayre Harvest Feast in October which saw 1/2 tonne of food donations from local businesses transform into 1200 hot, delicious, free meals.

Volunteers ready to dish out the savoury surplus.

Our previous redistribution days have been held at University of Brighton, Moulsecoomb as well as the Municipal Market at Circus Street, a vibrant hub for community activity. But this time we bring Good Food for Good Causes to the recently refurbished Brighton Open Market, a location that is open to the public and sees a lot of footfall, as well as housing many local food businesses.

Brighton Open Market on a quiet day

The event is open to the public. Visitors can find out about our work at our info stand and sign up to volunteer on future events. People will also be invited to add food-themed messages and images to our Bunting for Inspiration, made from re-purposed vinyl banners. Come join in!

Want to join our network?

If you are interested in volunteering, please email with 'GFGC Volunteer' in the title.

If you are a local business and would like to donate your good quality surplus, please email us with 'GFGC Business' in the title.

If you are a local food project and would like to receive a donation of food, please email us
with 'GFGC Charity' in the title.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Volunteers needed for upcoming GF4GC event!

We are pleased to announce the next Good Food for Good Causes event on Tuesday August 12th 2014 at The Old Municipal Market, Circus Street, Brighton. We are anticipating (and indeed already have some!) donations from Infinity Foods, Fanny's of Hanover, The Real Patisserie and TG Fruits, and are so pleased that the Municipal Market has agreed to open its doors to us again.

So now it’s time to rally up the help from all you food warriors and make it happen! We will need lots of people on the day again as usual. With the ongoing mission of saving more food from waste and helping out even more charitable organisations in Brighton and the local area, we are looking to make the event have an even wider impact and need your help to do it.


  • General volunteers (arrive 9:15 a.m. prompt for 9:30 start, then can leave anytime. Event ends by 3:30 p.m.)
  • Cycle volunteers (arrive 11:30 a.m. onwards until 3:30 p.m.)
If you want to help out on the day, let us know what time you plan roughly to leave and any role you are interested in, and we'll put your name on our confirmed list and email you again closer to the time with more details. All you need to do right now is save the date and we will be in touch again late July.

  • Contact and invite known charities
  • Contact and invite new charities
  • Contact new food donors
If you are interested in helping to make this event have an even bigger impact and want to help out in advance then get in touch asap and we can have a chat about ideas.

Email with "GF4GC volunteers" in the subject line.

Don’t worry if you can’t make the day or help this time, we have a few more projects coming up that will need lots of helpers for and make a real difference!

We look forward to having  you join us for a great day of food-saving fun!

Friday, 9 May 2014

May Updates

Hello! Things have been quiet on the blog recently, but if you join our Facebook group there are always interesting articles being posted and discussions going on about food waste in the UK and actions to tackle it.

Here's what our waste warriors have been up to recently:

Caitriona and Mei-Wah have begun planning the next Good Food for Good Causes event, which will take place in July or August. We will post an announcement once we've set a date, and once again we will be welcoming volunteers to help out on the day and in the run up to the event. Watch this space...

Back in March, thanks to Vera's hard work, we were awarded £500 by CityCamp to help further our cause. Meetings have begun to decide the best way to use these funds, and one of the ideas being discussed is getting an FWC mobile phone so that we can be contacted easily by charities and volunteers without any confusion about who to call!

If you've been down London Road recently you'll have seen that the brand new, revamped Open Market is almost ready to launch, and our waste warrior Josie is leading the new Foodshed venture that will be promoting local food producers through a rent-a-shelf scheme. Keep up to date with Foodshed on Twitter: @foodshedbtn. Good luck Josie!

FarmDrop (online, click & collect shopping that supports local farmers and food producers) is launching in Brighton & Hove at the end of the month. A FarmDrop results in zero waste for producers, as everything they bring to the drop has already been sold. FWC volunteer Sarah will be selling her delicious cakes as a Guest Producer for Brighton. Keep up to date with Hove FarmDrop @hovefarmdrop and Brighton FarmDrop @FarmDropBtn, which is being run by FWC volunteer Mei-Wah

And finally, good luck to our volunteer & Sussex Gleaning Co-Ordinator Bernie as he hurtles towards the finish line of his MA!

Monday, 31 March 2014

FWC in The Guardian

Our pumpkin gleaning efforts have continued to receive good media coverage months after the event itself: did anybody see us on Rip Off Britain: Food last week?

And we've also been featured in The Guardian online, which is fantastic new exposure for our work, and also for the work of the local charities that we are able to support; Lunch Positive and Synergy were both discussed, along with the more well-known St John's and YMCA.

We continue to be amazed and delighted at the attention our events are attracting, and hope you will read the article here.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Sussex Uni Waste Society

FWC member Laura is the chair of Sussex University's Waste Society.

"Sussex Waste Society provides a positive and friendly atmosphere for students to think, talk and act about waste.
We want to educate ourselves and others about waste (food, paper, recycling etc) and how to reduce, reuse and recycle. We want to interrogate the environmental and social problems with waste.
We run campaigns to achieve actual change in waste policy within the University, the Union and the wider community. We also organise social events, film screenings, field trips and more."

Some of you may have met Laura at our most recent Good Food for Good Causes event - she was manning the donation table and organising the surplus for groups to collect. Behind the scenes, in the weeks leading up to it, she worked hard with the team to help plan and promote the event.

This April, The Waste Society is putting on an event called Skip - Cook - Share: volunteers will be collecting food from skips and from students who are binning food before the Easter holidays, cooking it up into an amazing meal, and handing it out in Library Square (in the University of Sussex campus). Click on the link above to see/join the facebook event.

If you're a student or staff member at Sussex then we heartily encourage you to get involved!

Do you also belong to a waste society at your university? Or would you like to? Want some advice on setting up a group to tackle food waste? Get in touch!

Monday, 24 March 2014

News: CityCamp Funding

A huge thank you and congratulations to FWC member Vera who successfully secured funding for The Food Waste Collective from CityCamp Brighton.

Vera pitched The Food Waste Collective at CityCamp and won a share of £1000 in funding, which will be shared with our local friends, Bike Hub.

This funding will be amazingly useful for moving forward with our work - more details to follow!

*Photos from our twitter feed. Join us @foodwastecoll