UKHARVEST

UKHARVEST

by | Apr 28, 2022

As we move into the twilight of the Pandemic, the fallout will probably be with us for many months ahead. It has been a hard time for most of us, but even harder on those on low incomes and people that have lost jobs or have been unable to get out to do their shopping. Many of these people have been reliant on food banks, charities, and the general kindness of others. With food poverty in general being brought to the forefront during the last 18 months or so, lots of importance has been placed on charities that seek to help those in need.

One such charity in our local area have been very busy during the Pandemic. UKHarvest are a Chichester-based voluntary charity organisation that have provided food, fruit and vegetables to the most needy and vulnerable people over a wide area of the South of England. They are an environmentally friendly organisation on a mission to eliminate food waste, whilst assisting others to put meals on the table. Their volunteers are out in the community collecting surplus food from cafes, restaurants, farms, shops and even directly from the manufacturers. The food collected is sorted, packaged and delivered to other charities and organisations, to be distributed across the South of England. The food is then given to various food banks, homeless shelters and communities by their charity partners. UKHarvest supply more than 350 other organisations, and reach out as far as Bristol, London and East Sussex.

However, they are not just providing distribution. They provide food education and bring communities together, thus enabling people to come together to eat well. This also helps to combat social isolation in the most lonely people. Through their website, they also offer a range of online courses to residents of Hampshire and East and West Sussex. The latest addition to their growing portfolio and busy schedule is a new kitchen funded by Coast to Capital. The new kitchen, based in Donnington, will cook meals, re-package larger food items, and will also provide cookery and baking lessons for those who wish to learn.

UKHarvest is a totally non-profit based charity, completely staffed by volunteers. Anyone interested in volunteering and helping a really excellent and worthy charity is welcome to contact them. The new kitchen will provide many varied roles, including baking, packing and assisting with the online courses.

It made me realise how big the whole food waste issue is, as well as the importance of charitable food distribution. Volunteering at UKHarvest has helped with my mental health as well during Covid. It gave me something to do on a regular basis that made me feel positive about myself, and gave me a chance to interact with a truly great bunch of people.

Here are some tips on how YOU can help to reduce food waste…

Be storage savvy

Store food in the correct place, and freeze food to prolong life. Shopping list
Plan your meals and make a list of required ingredients, so you only buy what you need.

Love wonky veg

Misshapen veg often gets left behind, but they all taste great. Embrace the uniqueness!

Ditch the peeler

There is so much nutrition in the skins of carrots and potatoes. Don’t peel, just scrub.

Know your dates

Food past ‘best before’ is safe to eat. Use your sense to judge. You shouldn’t eat food past its ‘use by’ date.

Love your leftovers

Use what you have before shopping again. Use leftovers for soups, overripe bananas for cakes – get creative!

We are on a mission to eliminate hunger and reduce food waste through the redistribution of quality surplus food and education

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