On Saturday 12th May, Fareshare South West hosted a free lunch on College Green with the aim of feeding 5000 hungry passers-by, with meals made from food that would have ended up in landfill. As part of the steering committee, members of Foodcycle Bristol were there to lend a hand and talk to people about the work we do at Foodcycle.
The day started at around 10am, when we grabbed our bike and trailer, a ton of colourful leaflets and posters, and plenty of free bread to lure innocent bystanders over to the stall. We set up our table in the middle of College Green, alongside stalls from other organisations such as the Soil Association and Fareshare. The sun was shining brightly and there were already plenty of people around to talk to about the work we do in Bristol for Foodcycle.
There was plenty of entertainment on offer from Fareshare to keep people occupied as they enjoyed the delicious vegetable curry, with a live A cappella group and brilliant cooking demonstrations from the likes of Tom Herbert from the Fabulous Baker Brother TV series, and Tom Hunt. The food waste campaigner and original founder of the Feeding the 5000 movement, Tristram Stuart, was also there to give a brief talk and ensure the day went smoothly.
Back at the Foodcycle stall, we tried to put people in our shoes by showing them a selection of ingredients and asking them what they would cook, which had some varied and interesting results (from vegetable moussaka to ‘yummy slop(!)’), with some ideas we will certainly try in the community kitchen soon. It was great to speak to people of all ages and backgrounds about their thoughts on food waste, and get some great new ideas for fundraising and education over the coming year.
Nearly an entire tonne of fruit and vegetables was donated and used throughout the day, feeding an incredible 4,200 people (after a rough head count!), a big achievement for Fareshare. The day was a great success for us too, we’ve already had several emails from people keen to volunteer for Foodcycle, and generally made ourselves known a little bit better to the wider community. We also spoke to the chef Tom Hunt about the potential of a chef takeover at the student restaurant next year (watch this space). And, I even got a bit of tan in before the summer, result!
Many thanks to Jacqui Reeves from Fareshare for her help in organising the day and to Hannah, Elston, Alexa from Bath Foodcycle and all the others who came to help out. We look forward to getting involved in more big events like Feeding the 5000 in the near future, especially if the weather promises to be just as good as it was here!
Check out the Feeding the 5000 Facebook page for photos, more of our own photos to follow.