What is Make a Meal of It?
With the Make a Meal of It project we are working across Pembrokeshire, sharing our experience of using surplus food in a catering business and also at home. We offer advice for making use of surplus food, reducing food waste, and responsible disposal of food waste for example via composting or council food waste collections.
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 made it difficult for some people to get to the cafe and find out more about this topic, so now we can come to you. 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.
What’s the problem with food waste?
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.
Pupils making a meal of it!
We have piloted a Make a Meal of It primary school resource which will be available free for all schools to use in April 2018. In the pilot projects, pupils have conducted school lunchtime food waste audits, researched the issues around food waste, and completed their own action plans to reduce lunchtime food waste. At Narberth School pupils compiled a Make a Meal of It Mission factfile about food waste for their Eco Committee, read the case study of their project. Pupils from Stepaside school have made some short-films about what they have learnt:
As well as working with schools and other groups we are attending events, running cookery workshops, and other activities. To find out more check out the events calendar, Fishguard & Goodwick Community Fridge and the Transition Cafe Facebook page. If you would like us to attend your event do get in touch.
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
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, with schools, 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: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 01348872019
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:
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.