There is often talk about retailers – especially supermarkets – giving edible food waste to charity. But are pubs doing enough to help their local residents?
According to FareShare, one of the UK's largest food charities, every year some 270,000 tones of edible food is wasted in UK food production. But it wants to change this.
Now, for those getting rid of some of your food on the turn - breads, vegetables, fruits, canned and other packaged produce, or even meat - it may be easier to chuck it in the bin than to see if there are local charities, shelters or food banks that want the goods.
FareShare recoginises this problem and agrees that it is too expensive to redistribute surplus food to those charities which support the 8.4 million people in the UK who are hungry.
The charity's chief executive, Lindsay Boswell described as "completely wrong" the current situation, where it is easier to send edible food to anaerobic digestion plants, or for animal feed, rather than give it to humans.
The charity is now on a mission to up the levels of redistributed food from a few thousand to 100,000 tones. This would be a similar number to what is redistributed in France. It is asking the government to offset the costs of food redistribution – including transporting and handling – to enable food outlets, as well as others in the supply chain, to provide waste food.
There is clearly a place for pubs in this process.
Community locals often see first-hand issues of poverty and hardship and are often well placed to know what charities can be assisted in their locality, and where food could be sent to help those in need.
So next time you empty out the fridge on a Sunday night, maybe have a think if there is a local charity that could come and pick up the food, or even if you could drop it to a local facility.
We always talk about how pubs are vital community services. This would be a great way to live up to that name.
If there are publicans out there already giving away their food waste, I would love to share your story. Drop me a line.