Fighting food poverty by fighting food waste

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It All Adds Up
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Glasgow Housing Association (NG Homes) is the largest community-based housing association in Glasgow.

It manages and maintains around 7,000 properties in Springburn, Possilpark, Parkhouse and Balornock. It has reputation for involving local people in its projects. A recent project ‘Food For Thought’ was established to give people a chance to share their knowledge and cooking skills, with the aim of fight food poverty.

We were invited to create a workshop to support this work - after all, food in the bin is money in the bin. We arrived armed with simple and effective ideas to help the group save money on a daily basis while preparing healthy meals on a budget.

The first workshop was hosted at NG Home’s offices and both staff and community groups were invited. The second was held at the ‘Big Breakfast’, a community gathering that includes a free healthy breakfast. It gives local people the chance to meet and offer support to those who are experiencing hardship by connecting them to other services in the area.

Everyone was asked to complete a food waste diary prior to the events, and this was a huge success. The food diaries helped to create awareness about food waste and a number of people reported that they were throwing out huge amounts due to incorrect portion sizes. Having a better understanding of date labels also helped people to understand food safety and avoid throwing out perfectly edible food.

At the end of the workshops, it was clear that people were starting to think about what they were chucking in the bin and why.

The advice from the workshops will be built into lesson plans for the community’s ‘Cook n’ Go’ classes, ensuring that the Love Food Hate Waste conversation continues and further tips can be shared. From now on, it’s all about maintaining momentum in order to tackle food waste.