FoodCycle in 2019: Our Best Bits
Welcome to a roundup of some of the best bits from FoodCycle in our 10th Anniversary year.
Our volunteers achieved this!
That’s the equivalent of a one-storey house full of surplus food, enough meals to feed the city of Coventry and seven years worth of volunteer hours. It’s an incredible achievement and we can’t thank them enough.
We opened six new projects
FoodCycle is now nourishing communities in Kilburn, Birmingham Longbridge, Birmingham Witton, Oldham, Newcastle Westgate and Weston-Super-Mare which means we are serving free, nutritious meals to over 1,500 people a week from 41 locations across the country.
We celebrated our 10th Anniversary
We served our first meal to guests at FoodCycle LSE ten years ago. Since then we have served over 1 million meals, providing people who are struggling with food poverty and social isolation with a tasty lunch or dinner and warm conversation.
To celebrate, we held our 10th Anniversary Gala at Fishmongers Hall in May to raise the funds needed to bring a weekly FoodCycle meal to five new communities across the country. We brought together a Michelin star-studded cast of chefs to create an unforgettable six-course meal and held a silent auction offering experiences with some famous faces.
We demonstrated the positive impact of Community Dining
We created a case study in partnership with the College of Medicine and ITN Productions that was aired during their Food on Prescription Conference in October.
A FoodCycle meal brings people together from all walks of life. Be it, guests, in need of a warm meal or some company, to volunteers who want to give back to their community. By ensuring they share conversation and a hot, nutritious meal together every week, they strengthen their community. This video is a testament to the power that a shared meal can have.
We launched our volunteer reward scheme
In Volunteers’ Week, we introduced our volunteer reward scheme to say thank you to the incredible people who show up week in and week out to collect surplus food, create amazing meals and serve our guests.
When our volunteers reach a milestone, they receive a fruity pin badge to mark their achievement. For 100 hours they receive a plum, for 200 a peach and for an incredible 300 hours a strawberry pin badge. We hope our volunteers wear their badges with pride and keep coming back. We have issued over 490 badges since June, showing just how committed our incredible volunteers are.
We brought attention to food waste with A Week Less Wasted
In the UK we waste 7 million tonnes of food every year while 8.4 million people are struggling to feed themselves. So for a week in August, we challenged the nation to cut out their food waste.
We shared a food waste tip every day in August and encouraged people across the country to think about their contribution.
We cook FoodCycle meals with surplus food that would otherwise be wasted so that we’re doing our bit to reduce our collective carbon footprint. But we know we can always do more. So the team joined FoodCycle volunteers and supporters by getting involved with the challenge, you can read about our experience here.
We rounded off the year by launching Recipes for the Community, a community-sourced cookbook.
At our projects, we think it’s really important to serve nutritious, tasty meals and to provide a great experience for our guests. We’re lucky then, that our volunteers are some of the best cooks we know.
That’s why we asked them to donate their favourite vegetarian recipe, that they love to share with others, to our Recipes for the Community digital cookbook. We placed their dishes alongside submissions from our supportive chef partners, including Tom Aikens, Melissa Hemsley and Danilo Cortellini. These recipes will make you want to get in the kitchen and cook with your friends, family or FoodCycle team, and then sit down and enjoy the delicious meal together.
Get your hands on a copy as a thank you for a donation made to FoodCycle from now until January 2020.
We supported our guests
Whether it was with a hot, tasty meal or some friendly conversation, we made sure our guests could rely on their local FoodCycle project.