Food for thought

Lucy is reducing food waste by encouraging the sharing of food

Lucy Edwards has set up a Facebook group to try and reduce food waste in her area, as well as helping people in need. The idea of the group is for people to share items that they no longer require allowing other members to get in touch and collect the items.

The average family wastes around £750 per year in food waste, which is why Lucy created the group ‘Free Food in Southampton’ on Facebook to help try and reduce this waste. Food banks are a great way for families to donate food and unfortunately for many families they are a necessity, but a lot of them are over-subscribed and do not accept perishables. Time and work commitments can also restrict access for dropping off items.

Lucy said: “Our platform allows users to post photos of what food they are not going to use, members can then comment and collect it, much like the buying and selling sites but with no money changing hands.”

The group allows families who are struggling with the expense of weekly food supplies, to send the group admin a private message or to post in the group to request food in the local area. The group is dual purpose as it helps to reduce food waste as well as supporting families in need.

Creating awareness of the group is the key to making it a success. Lucy has been overwhelmed by how quickly the group has grown and the success it has had so far, she aims to continue to increase the number of members over the coming months.

By sharing her story and what the group has already achieved with the Council and local radio stations, she hopes the group will gain more interest and significantly reduce food waste in the Borough.

“It would be lovely to not see as much food going in the bin, if we can help people in need at the same time then this is a huge bonus,” commented Lucy. “We have already had over 200 posts of food which would otherwise have gone to waste, but this has been distributed between members and saved from the bin.”

Lucy is passionate about helping the local environment and community and urges others to do the same. Lucy finished by quoting a person she admires, Anne Marie from Zero Waste Chef who said: “We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly”