Search

Volunteers are sweeping Islington supermarkets for surplus food and dishing it up

PUBLISHED: 07:00 03 August 2016

Volunteers from left are Maria Giorda and Yining Su

Volunteers from left are Maria Giorda and Yining Su

Dieter Perry

Ever wondered what happens to food unfit for sale at supermarkets? You’ll be pleased to hear there’s a team at hand ensuring it doesn’t get binned.

Food being served to guestsFood being served to guests

Every week hundreds of volunteers from Islington charity FoodCycle tour the branches of Waitrose, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Co-op, Morrisons, Marks and Spencer and Tesco filling a trolley with goods.

There’s nothing wrong with the food. It’s always in date and the reasons it’s not on the shelves can range from it being a bit squashed to the packaging being dented to the store ordering too much of it.

The volunteers will then return to their hub and lay out all they’ve gathered, before working out how they can whip it into a three-course meal.

“There’s an element of Ready, Steady, Cook to it,” said a spokeswoman for the charity, who on Saturday celebrated seven years of cooking meals for people with HIV at The Food Chain charity in Grays Inn Road. “You have no idea what you will pick up and do sometimes wonder, ‘what am I going to do with 6,000 beetroots?’.”

The charity started out as a project run by students of London School of Economics (LSE) and University College London and now has 29 branches across the country, with 2,600 volunteers in London alone.

In the capital, there are three times more people living with HIV than the UK average and in Islington alone there are 1,200.

The sessions offer a chance to socialise, and in many cases, a vital nutritious meal.

Anna Sheinman has been coordinator of the FoodCycle LSE hub for three years, cooking for people with HIV every week.

She told the Gazette: “There’s one volunteer who is also a client.

“He’s been living in a hostel for many years. I always offer him the leftovers from the end of the sessions but he says he can’t take it because anything he puts in a fridge at the hostel will get stolen by the crack addicts.

“He eats two microwave meals from Iceland every day except for on Sundays. That is why I do this. For him.”

Latest Islington News Stories

10:12

Wireless promoter Live Nation has been given the green light to carry on holding the festival in Finsbury Park after a licensing review – but artists will be “encouraged” not to swear.

The victims commissioner is visiting the Ben Kinsella Trust today to learn about its life-saving workshops, which educate young people about the horror of carrying knives.

Year 5 kids from St John the Evangelist school have designed a “vibrant” and “energetic” tapestry for The Charterhouse.

Yesterday, 13:00

An innovative NHS project that hires people with first-hand experience of mental illness to support mental health patients across Islington has won a national award.

Yesterday, 11:59

A hundred neighbours were rushed from their beds on Saturday evening as a major gas leak saw Green Lanes locked down.

Yesterday, 10:48

A chatty Big Issue seller who died alone in a hostel room. A table tennis-playing “teddy bear” who killed himself. At least four people who were homeless in Islington have died over the last 12 months, but no one is recording their deaths.

Yesterday, 07:55

Islington has enrolled in national anti-sugar campaign to battle tooth decay and unhealthy diets.

Friday, October 19, 2018

A housing association has been lambasted for its “appalling” approach to repair and maintenance work on a Clerkenwell estate.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Fostering older teenagers means giving them the skills for life as an adult. Here, a supportive lodgings carer with Islington Council and young adult who has left care share their stories

Newsletter Sign Up

Islington Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now