Leicestershire County Council has received £20,000 from Sainsbury’s to help tackle food waste across the county.
Investment was secured from the supermarket giants under its Waste less, Save more initiative, and the council is launching three community kitchens as part of a scheme to get people thinking about what food they throw away at home.
The kitchens will open in Earl Shilton, Barwell and Wykin and the county council is looking for residents to take part in a free 10-week course, starting Monday, 4 September, designed for participants to use the facilities to eat and socialise together, while learning and sharing tips on how to reduce food waste and save money.
We are absolutely delighted to be chosen for this grant. The county council has a keen interest in reducing food waste.
“In the past we have run food waste challenges, and our Love Food, Hate Waste volunteers offer free advice and cooking classes.
“Statistics show that one in five bags that leave a supermarket will be thrown away uneaten which costs individual households more than £700 a year. In Leicestershire alone we throw out more than 120,000 tonnes of food every year.
“Hopefully these kitchens will bring the communities together while helping people save money, by cooking healthy meals from scratch using food that would have gone to waste.Person:Councillor Blake Pain, cabinet member for waste management
As well as urging people to sign up to the 10-week course, the county council is encouraging people to volunteer and keep the community kitchens running after the initial 10 week course, so that other people can participate and learn how to make the most of their food.
Councillor Pain added: “This is a vital role in helping to tackle food waste issues in the future.
“Volunteers will welcome new people to the kitchen, help to prepare and serve food, demonstrate how to store and freeze foods properly, help people to portion properly and reduce the amount of food that they waste in their homes, saving them money on their food bills.”
Sainsbury’s put out a nationwide call to communities to take part in the next phase of their Waste less, Save more campaign following a twelve-month trial in Swadlincote, Derbyshire last year.
The firm offered an overall grant pot of one million pounds to communities looking to provide innovative ways to help households cut food waste.
The project was launched by Sainsbury’s in 2015 to help combat the growing issue of food waste.
Paul Crewe, Sainsbury’s head of sustainability, said: “We’ve learnt a huge amount as a result of our 12-month pilot and we are really excited to be rolling out the next phase of Waste less, Save more.
“We’ve learnt a lot about how we can help households waste less food and save money, but we’re now casting our net wider to see what innovative ways communities up and down the country do to tackle food waste.”
Anyone interested in volunteering or taking part in the 10-week course can email firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 0116 305 7005.