A new ‘food rescue’ pilot is about to get underway in parts of West Sussex designed to reduce food waste and help people with the rising cost of their weekly shop.
Working with UKHarvest, district and borough councils, and other partnerships and charities, the pilot will start in October and run for six months in Bognor Regis, Crawley (Broadfield area), and Southwick (in Adur).
West Sussex County Council is launching the pilot project to encourage people to take advantage of surplus food rescue services and learn how to reduce the amount of edible food which ends up in their household rubbish bins.
The areas have been selected due to previous studies which showed they had the highest amount of food waste within residual rubbish bins, up to 40% on average.
Each area will host a UKHarvest Community Food Hub once a month where, for a small voluntary donation of £3.50, people will be able to pick up a wide selection of surplus foods which would have otherwise ended up as waste from suppliers.
Education sessions will also be arranged to help people reduce their food waste and save money, for example by using up leftovers, batch cooking, or using a slow cooker.
Deborah Urquhart, West Sussex Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change, said: “We want to break down common misconceptions about food rescue services as opposed to food banks and explain that they can be used by anyone, no matter what your circumstances are.
“While food banks provide an important service to those with the highest levels of need, surplus food rescue services remove food from the supply chain that might otherwise have gone to waste.
“This not only reduces the environmental impact of food production, but it also saves people money which is vitally important for everyone in light of the current cost of living challenges we all face.”
Sarah Morison, Partnerships, UKHarvest, said “We are delighted to be working in partnership with the County Council to extend the reach of UKHarvest’s Community Food Hubs and support those on tight budgets to eat well for less, whilst reducing food waste.”
Events will run at the following locations:
Bognor Youth and Community Centre, Westloats Lane, Bognor Regis, PO21 5JZ
Wednesday 5 October
Wednesday 2 November
Wednesday 7 December
Wednesday 4 January
Wednesday 1 February
Wednesday 1 March
Southwick Community Centre, 24 Southwick St, Southwick, Brighton, BN42 4TE
Wednesday 12 October
Wednesday 9 November
Wednesday 14 December
Wednesday 11 January
Wednesday 8 February
Wednesday 8 March
Broadfield Community Centre, Broadfield Barton, Crawley, RH11 9BA
Wednesday 19 October
Wednesday 16 November
Wednesday 21 December
Wednesday 18 January
Wednesday 15 February
Wednesday 15 March
UKHarvest already operates surplus food services in Chichester and the surrounding area.
For more information about the pilot please visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/UKHarvest.
You can find more advice and ideas on ways to reduce your food waste at www.westsussex.gov.uk/foodwaste.
Follow UKHarvest (@UKHarvest) and West Sussex Recycles on social media (@WSRecycles) for the latest news and details of events.