For 20 years Save the World Club has been distributing the disposed food from supermarkets and exhibitions to local charitable groups for their clients to use.
Although kept as a low key operation, we estimate that we have shared over 25,000 kg of food saved from being used as animal feed, anerobic digestion or energy from waste (incineration).
This has been mainly distributed using zero carbon pedal power.
We are very keen to expand this service to more client groups such as the elderly and single parents etc. and more frequent drops to existing clients so a greater proportion of the disposals are diverted from composting/incineration.
We presently use mainly bicycles for transportation, but collect London wide from food shows at Olympia and Excel Exhibition Centres in our Transit size van.
We are grateful to The Natural and Organic Products Europe Exhibition Organisers who have allowed us to clear all the surplus foods at the end of the show for the past 20 years.
When we expand our local collection and delivery service we hope to have the use of an electric cargo tricycle.
Although our local catchment area is perceived as relatively wealthy, there are untapped pockets of poverty that would benefit from our redistribution.
A possible way of identifying those yet untapped recipients could be finding social housing tenants through our existing channels and encouraging them to communicate by word of mouth to other neighbours in need. We could arrive at an estate in our vehicle and use an audible signal, somewhat similar to the idents Ice cream vans use to alert customers of our presence, or simply ring those already identified by us as the estate helpers.
We would encourage neighbours to assist those more vulnerable by collecting and delivering their food e.g. the elderly and/or less mobile.
We would hope to set up branches of Save the Food Club in the various social housing estates by means of a newsletter delivered to all residents. Build up a trustee group, with representation from any tenants groups who would take on board the distribution role, and we would deliver to each estate on an agreed day each week. This would then ensure there is provisions for those that qualify on each estate one day a week.
Our one to one contact would enable us to distribute information about support services available and we could monitor those especially vulnerable and establish liaison with support agencies. By supplying this service, we feel we would be well positioned to identify isolated and vulnerable people who may otherwise slip through the net