The West Sussex Waste Partnership are working with the food partnerships across the county to encourage our residents to share their surplus food, to help those in food poverty and prevent some of this wastage.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 there have been significant changes to food behaviours in the UK which have been unfortunate for many. Sustain UK estimates that 8.4 million people in the UK are living in food poverty, with BAME, disabled and older people worst affected. Pre-lockdown, in 2019-20, a record high of nearly 2m people in the UK used a food bank, according to the Trussell Trust. The numbers are estimated to have increased hugely due to the pandemic, hence why redistributing food would help residents in West Sussex. Below are some of the services available to you for redistributing food in the county:
OLIO… OLIO connects communities with each other, and local food businesses so surplus food can be shared and not thrown away. All users need to do is simply snap a photo of their spare items and add it to the app. People who live nearby can see if anything takes their fancy, and if so request it! Everything on OLIO is always offered for free. Food is shared when it is nearing its sell-by date, is spare home-grown vegetables, or when residents are going away and will not use it. OLIO was created to try and prevent food waste and help the global issue of climate change, as food waste is one of the world’s largest emitters of greenhouse gases. The app has been used in over 50 countries and over 1.6 million items have been shared between neighbours! You can find out more on the OLIO website.
Community Fridges… these are refrigerators located in a public space which enable food to be shared within a community. Spare food is dropped off here by community members of small businesses to be rescued and shared amongst those who need it. The Fare Divide Community Group have set up community fridges in Littlehampton and Horsham, where perishable items are free for collection by community members. They also run outreach pop-up community fridges in East Preston, Angmering and Rustington.
Food Banks… often community organisations aimed at supporting people who cannot afford the essentials in life. They normally provide people with a food parcel of three days’ nutritionally balanced, non-perishable food (The Big Issue). There are many foodbanks spread across the county which accept donations including: cereal, soup, pasta, rice, tinned tomatoes, pasta sauce, lentils, tinned meat, tinned vegetables, tea or coffee, tinned fruit, biscuits, UHT milk, and fruit juice. You can also donate by adding additional items to your in-store food shop and leaving these items in the donation trolley located near the exit.