Make a Meal of It

Building on the success of Transition Bro Gwaun’s Surplus Food Project and Transition Cafe in Fishguard we are delighted to be taking our message across Pembrokeshire with our Make a Meal of It project.

What is Make a Meal of It?

Make a Meal of It is here to help everyone in Pembrokeshire make the most of their food, to help save money and reduce food waste. We can advise groups wanting to use surplus food in their organisation as well as individuals wanting to make the most of food at home. We have five years of experience setting up and running schemes which reduce food waste – we are able to tailor advice to you and your needs.

Why is it needed?

Last year we conducted a community survey and found that there are many people who would like to know more about making the most of their food, and reducing waste. The location and opening times of Transition Cafe make it difficult for some people to get to the cafe and find out more about this topic, so now we can come to you (you’re still very welcome to visit the cafe of course!) We know from our own experience that it takes time and effort to change the way we think about and use food. By adapting the way we shop, store and cook food we can all reduce food waste.

We were delighted to be a Food Waste Solutions winner in the EU Refresh contest. The expert jury recognised the replicability of our project, they said, ‘This grassroots initiative implements food waste reduction as an integrated part of a larger sustainability concept including behavior changes and building new community structures.’ The Refresh project has conducted a number of studies about food waste, with the results available on the Refresh website.

Amount of food waste arising in the UK by sector 2016, click on image for link

Amounts of food waste arising in the UK by sector (total post-farm-gate = ca. 10 Mt), WRAP, 2017

Food waste is increasingly recognised as a problem in the UK and globally as a third of food produced worldwide is wasted. In developed economies most food is wasted by consumers, food manufacturers and retailers (as the Waste and Resources Action Programm (WRAP) have found in the UK), whilst in developing economies it is often wasted due to problems harvesting and storing food.

Uneaten food is a waste of the land, energy, water and other resources that are required in production, packaging, storage and transportation. In addition, food disposed in landfill releases damaging greenhouse gases. As the global population grows and climate change affects crops and harvests we all need to take responsibility for our use of food.

By reducing food waste we will make a positive impact on greenhouse gas emissions. We can all make changes to the way we buy, store, cook and dispose of food. Globally there is enough food produced each year to feed everyone, if we all commit to small changes at home we can influence the food supply chain to ensure everyone gets what they need.

Welsh Government have a number strategies aimed at reducing waste. Targets to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill are more ambitious than many other countries – with a statutory target of 70% recycling of waste by 2024-25 and zero waste in Wales by 2050. Pembrokeshire County Council are well on their way to meeting this target with 66% of municipal waste reused, recycled or composted last year.

WRAP found that in Wales 48% of household food waste is disposed of in Local Authority food waste collections compared to 13.1% UK average. With Make a Meal of It we are encouraging people to use their compost bin or food waste collections so that no food waste ends up polluting landfill sites. Advice about food waste collections in Pembrokeshire is available here.

We can offer support to:

Organisations interested in reducing food waste. We can help develop actions and activities to engage individuals and groups.

Groups – who want to make use of some of the surplus food that supermarkets are now keen to donate to local organisations e.g. to provide meals for group functions, run cookery workshops and baking competitions, make preserves for fund raising, set up a surplus food cafe or a community fridge/larder. These could be informal groups, youth groups, charities, schools, if you’re interested we can work with you.

Individuals – wanting to learn more about reducing food waste at home. Even those of us who are careful not to waste food can learn there is much more we can do and share experience with others.

Budding Entrepreneurs – who would like to set up social enterprises using surplus food which could create a livelihood for themselves, employment for others, and a valuable resource for their community.

If you would like more information, or to get involved, please contact our project development officer, Corinne Castle via email: projectstbg@gmail.com or pop into or phone Transition Cafe: 01348 872019 (Corinne is usually at the cafes on Tuesdays, leave a message at other times).

Make a Meal of It What’s On?

As well as working with groups we will be attending events, running cookery workshops, developing schemes and activities. As these are confirmed we will list them on our events calendar and Transition Cafe Facebook page. If you would like us to attend your event do get in touch.

 

Useful resources

Food Is For Eating – beautifully illustrated infographic about food production, use and waste around the world by Angela Morelli

The Water We Eat – beautifully illustrated infographic of water used in food production by Angela Morelli

Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) – data about UK food waste and expert advice to reduce food waste for businesses, organisations and local authorities

Love Food Hate Waste (LFHW) – consumer advice for making the most of food and reducing food waste

EU Refresh reports – an EU wide initiative to find solutions to food waste and surplus food along the food chain

$1 invested in reducing food waste saves $14 for businesses – report from Champions 12.3 about the cost implications of food waste

Champions 12.3 – a coalition of influential partners working towards Sustainable Development Goal 12.3

 

Volunteer with the Make a Meal of It project

Are you passionate about reducing food waste? We need you too! If you think you have what it takes to spread the message of reducing food waste, cutting carbon emissions, and conserving precious resources we’d love to hear from you. We are looking for Community Food Saver Champions to join us at events, and work with groups to spread the message of making the most of food and reducing waste. We want to change attitudes and behaviours so that it will again become commonplace not to waste good food.

To volunteer with the project or find out more please contact Corinne via email: projectstbg@gmail.com or pop into or phone Transition Cafe: 01348872019 (Corinne is usually at the cafes on Tuesdays, leave a message at other times).

Publicity

We sometimes make the papers, here are articles we’ve seen. Do let us know if we feature elsewhere and we’ll add a link:

Making a meal of it thanks to EU Leader and Sainsbury’s funding at Fishguard’s Transition Cafe

Sun Gods shine on a very chilled Wild West Wales

Make a Meal of It funding

We are very pleased to have secured EU LEADER funding from Arwain Sir Benfro and from Sainsbury’s Waste less, Save more campaign. This funding enables us to work across Pembrokeshire developing the Make a Meal of It project to influence attitudes and behaviours to reduce food waste.