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Angus community group saves 20 tonnes of surplus food in the past year

Lindsey Wilson.

Kirriemuir Food Hub in Angus has recorded saving more than 20 tonnes of food that would otherwise be discarded in 2021.

The non-profit organisation, based in the centre of Kirriemuir, was launched in April 2020 with the aim to help combat food insecurity and reduce waste by repurposing and redistributing food.

Run entirely by volunteers (around 30 in total, a figure that has doubled in the past year) from the local community, the hub is celebrating saving the staggering figure of surplus food over the course of the past year.

Fruits, vegetables and berries.

The food is collected from local supermarkets on a daily basis as it can no longer be sold due to date labelling, however, is still perfectly edible.

They also receive donations ranging from boxed or canned meals, sauces and pantry essentials to fruit juices and cereals.

How impressive is 20 tonnes?

To put the figure into perspective, the figure is roughly equivalent to:

  • Three African elephants
  • 10 great white sharks
  • Two double-decker buses

Hub team member Lindsey Wilson, 52, said: “We try to repurpose and redistribute food that would otherwise end up going to waste.

“We have frozen a lot of food pre use-by date, which is then redistributed, and cook food from its raw state to prolong its life.”

The hub has its own community fridge that opens from 10am to 2pm Monday to Saturday.

Items including bread, fruit and vegetables are available for anyone in the community to help themselves to.

Lindsey Wilson.
Lindsey Wilson.

The group uses Facebook primarily to inform locals what surplus food is available that day.

“We open our doors to anyone experiencing food insecurity so they can come for a food pack,” Lindsey added.

“The group also ran several pop-up cafes last year, with one taking place in May and the rest every Monday in November.

“This was not only to reduce food waste, but show people some of the tasty meals that could be produced with food that had been destined for the bin by supermarkets.

“We also wanted to give people the opportunity to support and learn about the hub, and provide families who maybe wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford it the chance to eat out together.”

Top tips for reducing food waste at home

To reduce more food waste at home, Lindsey has a line-up of ideas that are easy to do and make habit of.

She continued: “Whether it be in the interest of the environment or someone’s wallet, just have a think when shopping. It’s always best to meal plan when possible so write a list.

“The internet, if an option, is a great tool to help with ideas over what to do with leftovers. And pretty much anything can be thrown into a pot of soup.”

Her top tips include:

  1. Only buy what you need
  2. Meal plan
  3. Use your freezer
  4. Use your local food hub – both to give and receive
  5. If not used to cooking then give it a try – it’s not as hard as it looks. The hub can supply easy to follow recipes plus the ingredients

Visit Kirriemuir Food Hub on Facebook for more information.

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