Exams are over, coursework is in and the sun is shining. As another academic year comes to an end, we are saying goodbye to some of the FoodCycle 2013-2014 managers (including myself…).
We thought it would be a great idea to give ourselves, our volunteers, guests, donators, collaborators and supporters a pat on the back and let you guy know about all the amazing things we have achieved this year. Here are our highlights!
Community Kitchen at Easton
Most importantly, we run a weekly Community Kitchen at Easton, providing a healthy three-course meal (for free) for the community. We cook up ‘surplus’ food, which would otherwise be chucked out, collected and transported from local supermarkets and shops via pedal power.
Our kitchen serves anyone, but often those who are vulnerable to food poverty, may be homeless, mentally ill or socially isolated. Every Sunday, people can come and enjoy good food and chatting. If you haven’t come along, do! It is such good fun.
Branching out into the Community
This year, the creation of a core Community team has meant FoodCycle Bristol has branched out a whole lot more. Here’s how:
Kicking off the summer last year, we collaborated with our friends at Feed the 5,000 and FareShare SW at Feed the 5,000. This amazing event saw the inaugural outing of our education tent, along with foody games, face painting, arts and crafts and a pledge tree. In the summer sunshine, 4,324 people enjoyed curry made from ‘surplus’ food, learnt, engaged and shared ideas.
We threw our forks in the air and also participated in the ‘Eat In’ with the Sustainable Food Trust. Check out this video!
Our Community team have also begun a project, revamping the Easton Community Centre Community Garden. In October 2013, rain drenched and slightly cold, we began the epic task of sorting out the litter strewn and overgrown garden, along with the help of Avon Wildlife Trust. It’s now a pleasant space for growing herbs, learning about food and enjoying the great outdoors.
This May saw our Schools Project with Year 3 children at St Michael’s Primary School in Stoke Gifford. The children had already been looking at food waste issues, but two of our Community managers, Katie and Rosie, held an interactive workshop with the kids. Already very well informed, the children wrote letters to supermarkets stating their disgust at food waste and very politely asking for surplus food to cook a meal for their parents. With no prompt at all, the children organised an afterschool ‘food waste picnic’ with their lunchbox leftovers! With our help, the children collected waste food, chopped veg and cooked up a delicious three-course meal for their parents! So we know who our next generation of FoodCyclers are!
Raising Those Funds
We couldn’t function, innovate or develop without money, so we’ve also done heaps of fundraising this year as well.
Totally FoodCycle Brist stylee, we have held four of our famous Pop-Up Restaurants. Always absolutely chaotic but a right good laugh, they have been sold out each time. We’ve tried massively to reach out of the student bubble this year, and slowly but surely we’re spreading the word. With fresh local music, art and great co-host charities and organisations, each night has been different, quirky and fun. I think the BYOB policy helps too!
February saw the Breadline Challenge, where many managers took up the challenge to live on £18 for the week. We all learnt a lot of useful tips for cutting corners when it comes to food and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Not only that, but we raised about £1,000, which is absolutely fantastic and will keep a hub running for about 2 months! So say, about 30 meals for each kitchen, that’s 30 x 8… 240 meals!
We have also had the upmost pleasure of catering for two University of Bristol conferences: RISE (Social Enterprise Conference) and the International Development Conference, as well as Beat the Cold at Easton Community Centre.
It’s been a fantastic year, but we couldn’t do this on our own. We want to say a VERY BIG THANK YOU to Sainsbury’s on The Triangle, and our local suppliers in Easton: Sweet Mart, Star Cash & Carry, Al Noor, Raja, Good Food Plus, Chelsea Mini Mart.
And last but most definitely not least we want to say a huge thank you to ALL OF OUR WONDERFUL VOLUNTEERS. None of this could happen without you!
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