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FoodCycle Connects launches in Bristol!

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In this post, FoodCycle Bristol Hub Leader, and coordinator of Bristol Connects, Heather Mack explains what is going on in the south west and how they are sending so much surplus food to good causes across the city! #BelliesNotBins

FoodCycle Connects’ goal is to eliminate food waste by collecting and distributing surplus food, whilst educating and campaigning about food waste issues. We prioritise charities and good causes, but ultimately feed bellies, not bins, anywhere.

We’ve nicknamed this month Mad May, and it certainly has been so far!

Starting Friday 29th (OK, I’m pushing the boundaries of May)

we borrowed a smoothie bike, a fully rideable bike, with a blender on the back powered by the back wheel, and took part in the world on the plate event at Sefton Park school. The kids loved being actively involved with making the food. The amazing and multi talented Cat visited the School earlier in the week and spoke at their assembly to explain where the food was coming from, and why we should be more careful about wasting food at home, and seemed to really get the message across! Both the soup and smoothie were really popular and used around 30kg of surplus fruit and veg!

Saturday 30th April

Our regular Barton Hill meal. Tasty food, and as always, plenty of happy guests, and all the left overs, cooked and uncooked, were taken away. Again about 40kg of surplus food put to good use.

3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th May

Collection for FoodJam, part of Bristol’s Food Connections festival. Tag line ‘Make something to eat whilst moving your feet to the beat’. An electric milk van visiting different areas of Bristol, with a great sound system powered by solar panels, encouraging the community to get involved with making healthy soups and smoothies out of food previously destined for the bin. We collected loads of food and it was an amazing success, especially the smoothies for the kids! (Now ex) Bristol Mayor visited, along with the Police and Crime commissioner and the local TV show. Check out my slot talking about what our fantastic new project will do (2 min 40s in). 150 kg of beautiful, edible, surplus fruit and veg found a good home.

Wednesday 4th May

‘Global Justice Now – Growing Power – Whose Food?’ After the success of last time they asked us to support another talk/discussion on local food production and our food security. We cooked a delicious coconut curry with plantain dumplings, for around 80 people, and had an opportunity to speak at the event. Left overs got taken home, used around 30kg of food.

Saturday 7th May

Regular Barton Hill meal. Despite the incredibly changeable weather, and delays due to trailer problems we served roast sweet pepper and tomato soup for starter, roast potatoes, plantain and aubergine fritters and guacamole for main, followed by apple and banana cake with (not quite set) chocolate and banana icecream. All vegan! Lots of leftovers, cooked and uncooked to take away, 50 kg of food cooked or given away.

Monday 9th May

First official FoodCycle Connects delivery – Borderlands is a charity supporting refugees and asylum seekers to settle in to the community in Bristol. They rely on donations to serve two meals a week and were very glad for fresh fruit and veg, which is hard for them to come by. Only 15kg of food delivered, but we’ll go to more shops and do better next week!

That was a long week and a bit! Almost 300kg of surplus food cooked or given away! So far the response for our new project has been amazing, so that spurs us on. We’re struggling for volunteers to fill collection shifts during the week, but we will try to push for drop off’s in the evening instead, and we’re hosting our official launch on Thursday night, 7pm, Roll for the Soul where we hope to engage more volunteers.

Please get involved by emailing [email protected].

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