A NEW initiative aimed at reducing food waste and supporting the local community is due to be launched in Lyme Regis.
The initiative was picked up by Lisa Charleton and Mary Ward, who work for LymeForward and run Lyme Regis Food Bank, which opens every Wednesday morning, after reading an article about a collaboration with Seaton’s SAVE Food Hub and the Community Waffle House in Axminster.
They said: “We were already aware of the good work done by the Waffle House team and the article explained how the SAVE Food Hub operates; its volunteers collect edible, in-date food and share it with local foodbanks, community food projects and local people.
“This premise was of interest to us as it aligned with our own values of zero waste and fitted in with our food bank operation. We contacted Aileen Heal who runs the Seaton SAVE Food Hub and volunteered there.
“On the first night we volunteered, about 20 crates of surplus food were picked up from the Co-op and Tesco in Seaton. We helped to sort them, photograph them and list them on an app.
“Some of the food was put aside for both Seaton and Axminster foodbanks, while the rest was listed on the app for the public to collect. We were amazed at the volume of surplus food which was being put to good use and would otherwise have ended up in the waste stream.
“We volunteered one night per week and witnessed first-hand the volume of surplus food. The SAVE Food Hub in Seaton, including Colyton and Axmouth, operates every night of the week, thereby saving a huge amount of food which would otherwise go to waste.
“We were so impressed with the operation there that we started to think about whether this scheme could operate in Lyme Regis and began to make plans. The first challenge was to find a building from which we could operate.
“Whilst our foodbank operates out of The Hub, we knew that this was far from ideal owing to accessibility issues. We wanted somewhere accessible in the centre of Lyme Regis, so we approached the Baptist Church in Silver Street.
“We were aware that they were an Eco Church that had led the way in using less plastic and managing their building sustainably. We spoke to the Reverend Christopher Woodman and subsequently Alan Vian who has been very helpful and fully supportive.
“We then approached the Co-op in Lyme, knowing that they regularly support local causes. The manager, Karl Josko, was indeed very supportive and put us in touch with Sophie Graves, Co-op Member Pioneer for Axminster and Lyme Regis. We are also hoping to get Tesco on board.
“We have registered #SAVEFOODLYME with Environmental Health, followed the various procedures and have completed the Level 2 Food Hygiene and Safety Training. Consequently, we are now ready to begin the operation.
“We are hoping that people throughout the town will support this new initiative as we work towards making Lyme Regis the next near zero waste town whilst supporting our local community.”
The Save Food Lyme Hub will launch on Tuesday, December 8 and will then be operating every Tuesday from 8.30pm to 9.30pm from the Baptist Church in Silver Street (DT7 3HR).
Those interested in benefitting from the food can download the OLIO app and set up your account at https://olioex.com/. You can then browse the listings and get notifications when new items are listed on Tuesday evenings, request items and visit the Baptist Church to collect.
Lisa and Mary added: “The world wastes £2.9 trillion worth of food annually which is more than enough to eliminate food poverty and hunger globally. This simple initiative can help and it is absolutely free to use – just turn up and collect.”
For further information, contact Lisa on 07955 772 314, or Mary on 07742 053 736, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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