Surplus Food Network - We won

Thanks for the votes – let’s now feed bellies not bins.

We’re thrilled to announce we’ve won nearly £50,000 of lottery funding in The People’s Project for the Surplus Food Network.

Formed by a group of organisations who tackle food waste, the Surplus Food Network aims to reduce food waste across the city and ensure good food is intercepted before it goes in the bin. The food will be redistributed to organisations and charities most in need.

Our partners are Fare Share Sussex, the Real Junk Food Project Brighton, The Gleaning Network and The Food Waste Collective.

FareShare  Sussex (http://faresharesussex.org.uk/)and the Food Waste Collective last year intercepted over 500 tonnes of food from shops, supermarkets and even festivals to share among recipients like sheltered housing, food banks and lunch clubs. The Sussex Gleaning Network last year harvested 21.5 tonnes of crops rejected by the suppliers to redistribute.

And the Real Junk Food Project Brighton (http://www.realjunkfoodbrighton.co.uk/) provide 1,500 delicious ‘pay as you feel’ meals every month using food which would have been chucked away.

But still people go hungry in our city. Nine of the 14 food banks reported an increase in people needing emergency food last year.  As council funding is cut and the benefit system is tightened more and more people are finding it tough to find money for food.

Currently, only 2% of surplus food fit for human consumption gets saved. Much of the rest of it is sent for recycling, animal feed, or worse, landfill.

With this new cash, we aim to make food waste collection and distribution more streamlined and effective. We will work with organisations to evaluate how their work can be made easier and more sustainable whether it involves finding more volunteers, buying equipment or helping with costs.

The general public and businesses will also be encouraged to waste less with events and promotions to spread the message.

We’ll keep you informed of our work as we get down to tackling the problem. In the meantime, give yourself a big pat on the back for voting for us if you did – we couldn’t have done it without you.