Feeding 5000 in Trafalgar Square

They say there is no such thing as a free lunch but the Feeding 5K event in Trafalgar Square on 18th November got pretty close!

The very inspiring ‘Feed bellies, not bins’ banner created the perfect backdrop for the event.
Feeding 5K banner

The event was organised by Tristram Stuart, (the author of the acclaimed book ‘Waste‘) to raise awareness and to promote the activities of the partner charities; FareShare, Love Food Hate Waste, Recycle for London, Friends of the Earth, FoodCycle and School Food Matters – using only ingredients that otherwise would have been wasted, the aim was to provide a free lunch for over 5000 people.

Having seen plenty of posts about the event on Twitter, I had to go down to see what it was all about. It also helped that it was a beautiful, sunny afternoon which made it a lovely way to spend a lunch time.

Feeding 5K - Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square was buzzing. There were large stages where cooking demonstrations were taking place, there were boxes of vegetables being given out, there were animals to stroke and there was food to eat and drinks to enjoy. The food was delicious and the demonstrations very entertaining and informative.

Feeding 5K - cooking demonstrations
It was good to see a wide variety of food being cooked – soup, vegetable curry and pigs cheek were the few things I saw (and had the option to try). Although I’m a vegetarian it was good to see people being encouraged to cook pigs cheek to be a delicious food instead of it being discarded which is so often the case.

People need educating about food waste. The fact that an estimated 20 million tonnes of food wasted in Britain from the plough to the plate shows that we still do not understand the issue or do not know how to deal with it.

Supermarkets will not always accept fruit and vegetables unless they are perfectly formed, sell by dates are used which makes people throw food away before it’s actually too old to eat and people still buy more food than they need. Not only are there starving people in the world but the environment is being harmed by the CO2 emissions created when it is disposed of. There were boxes of ‘wonky’ carrots being given away, people making apple juice from excess apples and vegetable curry from a whole variety of delicious vegetables.

Feeding 5K - carrot giveaway

My favourite part of the event was not only seeing many of The People’s Kitchen volunteers helping out but also a family who were walking around eating raw vegetables; the mother had a fennel in her mouth, one kid had a red pepper in her mouth and the other kid had a carrot in his mouth. That’s the attitude, I just wish I had captured the moment on camera!
Feeding 5K - People's Kitchen volunteers

I left the event with a very full stomach and a pocket full of chillies….

Latest photos from The People’s Kitchen

Thanks to all those that have been coming down to The People’s Kitchen on a Sunday afternoon. There are more photos from events which can be viewed here

@ Passing Clouds every Sunday
We need more volunteers for preparing food, cooking and for any thing else you can help with!

Please follow us on Twitter @TPKitchen, spread the word, help us to expand and eliminate food waste.

Visit the People’s Kitchen website for more information:
2-4pm food drop off
3-5pm food preparation
6-8pm dinner time

Collaborative Consumption workshop @ NESTA 08/02/2011

I was very grateful to be able to participate in a really exciting workshop at NESTA on collaborative consumption. Rachel Botsman has been in the UK promoting her book ‘What’s mine is yours; how collaborative consumption is changing the way we live‘ and has subsequently been giving talks and presentations.

Rachel Botsman

I was lucky enough to present The People’s Kitchen project I’m working on at the start of the session. I received some great questions from the other participants. People were interested in finding out who comes along, how it is being funded, what a typical donation is and are supermarkets ever concerned about being sued by giving away food past their sell by date?

Louise presenting 'The People's Kitchen'

The workshop session was focused around how the rise of collaborative consumption can impact on Public Services, particularly in these difficult times. The group I worked with was on how to re-invent the service offering and business model of libraries! Facilitated by the excellent Mok from Innovation Beehive, we acted out an idea around changing libraries into a zoned space allowing it to used in different days during the day.

NESTA workshop

I came away from the workshop feeling very positive about how collaborative consumption can help our public services. We need to come together and share our experiences and skills to help improve what we already have. There are a large number of opportunities out there for developing the services we use – we must not be scared about changing the way we currently do and view things.