On Saturday, June 1, thousands of people will converge on Bristol’s College Green to enjoy a free lunch and to highlight the issues of food waste and food poverty in the South West. Now in its second year in Bristol, Feeding the 5,000 sees top local chefs cooking up a free feast using perfectly good ingredients that would normally be wasted.
The event is organised and hosted by FareShare South West in partnership with Feeding the 5,000 – two charities leading the campaign against food waste. Both organisations work to highlight the rapidly growing number of people in the South West who live in food poverty and the quantity and quality of food thrown away by the food industry.
As part of the Feeding the 5,000 event, participants will be asked to sign a petition calling for local businesses and government to work towards making Bristol the first city where all surplus food is used for its purpose. Supported by local government and the Mayor, George Ferguson, the petition calls for food businesses in the South West to take “urgent action” and to do the “moral and ethical thing” with their surplus food.
Gus Hoyt, Cabinet Member for Environment, Communities and Equality endorses this petition and said “I am really looking forward to this years Feeding the 5,000 just as much as I did the first event last year. FareShare South West work hard to reduce waste within the food industry. ‘Waste’ food should be used for the purpose it is intended for – consumption – wherever possible.”
“The number of people who can’t afford a wholesome, balanced and nutritious diet is growing at a phenomenal rate,” said Jacqui Reeves, Project Director of FareShare South West. “Around 16% of people in the South West are living in food poverty whilst the food industry continues to throw perfectly good food away! It’s scandalous.”
“At the moment it’s cheaper for supermarkets to bin food than it is to put the necessary systems and processes in place to redistribute it to those most in need through charities like FareShare.” FareShare distribute good quality food that would have been wasted to over 100 projects working with vulnerable people across the South West.
“We want Government to introduce levies and penalties that will make it more expensive for supermarkets to waste good food than it is to redistribute it to those in need.”
You can sign the petition at Feeding the 5,000 on June 1st or at www.faresharesouthwest.org.uk after the event.
Jacqui Reeves: “Feeding the 5,000 is open to everyone, all you have to do is come down to College Green on June 1st between 1pm and 6pm to enjoy a delicious free lunch, cookery demonstrations with some of the regions’ top chefs, loads of kid’s activities and live music programmed by Shambala Festival.”
The Feeding the 5,000 free lunch will be prepared by The Thali Cafe, Pieminister and Demuth’s Vegetarian Cookery School with chefs including Richard Bertinet (Bertinet’s Bakery), Sam Moody (The Bath Priory), Tom Hunt (Poco) and Barny Haughton (Square Food Foundation) giving talks and demonstrations at the event.
“Being part of ‘Feeding the 5000’ is a real privilege,” said Tristan Hogg of Pieminister. “The work that FareShare South West are doing in the local community is genuinely making a difference. Highlighting food waste and poverty is such a huge and important cause and I am so pleased that Pieminister has the opportunity to help.”