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Volunteer stories: ‘Attending the meal is my favourite part of the week’

Ever wondered what it’s like to be a FoodCycle Project Leader? Well… now is your chance. We spoke to fantastic volunteer Alannah, 22, who is the Team Coordinator at FoodCycle Norwich. She tells us how she got into volunteering, what she does each week and what she enjoys most about leading a team of volunteers.

How did you hear about FoodCycle?

It was so long ago (I came to FoodCycle as a guest for a couple of years before I volunteered) that I’m not entirely sure! I must have read about it and looked it up.

Why did you get involved?

As I mentioned I had attended FoodCycle Norwich for the Friday meal lots of times and decided it was finally time to muck in! I then started regularly volunteering and I was eventually approached and asked to be a project leader.

What do you do for FoodCycle each week?

I try and lead the cooking shift most Fridays where we are posed with the task of making something tasty out of the surplus food we receive each week. My additional role is that of ‘Team Coordinator’ so it is my responsibility to organise meetings, make sure we are working together/ are on the same page etc!

What do you do when you’re not volunteering?

I work for a Rock and Soul Choir during the week and a cinema over the weekend. The rest of the time I can be found hanging out with my flat mates (one of whom also happens to be a FoodCycle project leader!), cooking feasts and enjoying Norwich.

How has volunteering with FoodCycle benefited your everyday life?

I love FoodCycle Norwich, volunteering and attending the meal is my favourite part of the week. It has helped further open my eyes to local and wider issues concerning food production, distribution, waste and poverty and it has forged a community for me here in Norwich. I have met lots of great people through the organisation, it has allowed me to feel connected with the city and makes me feel that the way I am spending my time is worthwhile.

Why would you recommend volunteering with FoodCycle to other young people?

I would recommend volunteering with FoodCycle to anyone! There are immediate tangible and visible benefits to spending a few hours chopping or serving meals. You get to enjoy and witness others enjoying warm food that would have otherwise have gone in the bin. This food shouldn’t be thrown away and the fact that we can salvage it and make it into something special whilst bringing people together is really rewarding. There are further benefits of course such as learning skills, growing more confident in cooking and making friends!

What’s your favourite cuisine?

Ooo difficult! Maybe Persian?

If FoodCycle was a fruit/veg, what would it be and why?

A Banana – as we are always swimming in them!

Sum up FoodCycle in one word?

Community

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