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Feeding the 5000

In Brighton, there is such a thing as a free lunch!
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Tomorrow (29 October), hundreds of volunteers will serve up 5,000 free curries created from over a tonne of surplus food donated by local businesses and farms.

M&S food redistribution – retailer launches nationwide surplus food redistribution scheme

Action on food waste

Feeding the 5000 Brighton will serve a delicious free lunch to stimulate public action on food waste, both at our community level and on a national policy level.

This special event will take place at 11.00-15.00 on the Level, a popular location in the heart of the city.

‘Our free feast is for everyone, whether you want to tackle food waste at home, volunteer in your local community, put pressure on policymakers, or just appreciate a free, nutritious meal.’

‘If you like good food, care about your environment and want to join the movement to end food waste, come along.’

Vera Zakharov, coordinator of Brighton & Hove Food Partnership

The event


Local projects

Brighton & Hove has a vibrant community of 43 local projects tackling food waste, from food redistribution organisations to community composting schemes, surplus cafés, soup runs serving up community meals and awareness-raising campaigns.

On top of that, dozens of food poverty charities make use of surplus food every day to feed their communities.

‘Brighton and Hove’s food waste movement is an inspiring example of how local communities can take meaningful action to tackle the nationwide scandal of wasted food. Feeding the 5000 will, no doubt, be a fantastic event and I’m really pleased to see it taking place in Brighton.

‘In the coming months I’ll be working with colleagues across the political spectrum to tackle food poverty and drastically cut the scandalous amount of food wastage we see in the UK.’

Caroline Lucas MP

Food waste and carbon emissions

Annually, food waste generates 3.3 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas, which is contributing to an already warming world. If food waste were a country it would be the third-largest carbon emitter after China and the US.

‘Globally 10% of rich countries’ greenhouse gas emissions come from growing food that is never eaten. Reducing waste is one of the most effective ways of dramatically reducing the carbon emissions of our food system and is urgently needed.

‘Here in the UK an estimated 20-40% of UK fruit and vegetables are rejected even before they reach the shops – mostly because they do not match the supermarkets’ excessively strict cosmetic standards.’

Tristram Stuart, Feedback founder and author of Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal (Penguin, 2009)

A call to action

Feeding the 5000 Brighton is a public call to action as well as a feast. The public will be inspired to try out new recipes and tips to reduce food waste at home, to get involved in local food waste projects and to support campaigns tackling food waste at a policy level.

Businesses will be called on to do more to reduce their food waste and support local food projects through donation of surplus.

‘It is a scandal how much perfectly good food is being rejected and thrown away before it even reaches the shops – simply because it doesn’t meet the strict cosmetic standards set by our biggest retailers. Feeding the 5000 Brighton is an exciting event because it shows that people are willing to make a stand against the wasting of so much fantastic food.’

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, broadcaster, writer and real food campaigner

Speakers and activities

Speakers and special guests include Tristram Stuart, global food waste campaigner and author, Caroline Lucas MP, Douglas McMaster, the chef behind Silo zero waste restaurant, and Lindsay Boswell, CEO of FareShare UK.

The event will also feature workshops and children’s activities, a free grocery giveaway, and info stalls promoting local food waste projects.

Click here to find out more about Feeding the 5000 Brighton.

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