Buckingham supermarkets support community scheme that's saved tonnes of food from going to waste

Successful pilot uses electric bikes and vans to redistribute food to community groups

Tuesday, 30th March 2021, 4:33 pm
Food Connect delivery drivers with their electric bikes and van

Supermarkets in Buckingham have contributed to a fabulous environmental and community success story that's saved 109 tonnes of food from going to waste - the equivalent of nearly 260,000 meals.

As the spotlight continues to shine on food waste and its contribution climate change, environmental charity Hubbub has revealed the astonishing success of its pilot in Milton Keynes, redistributing surplus food from retailers to community groups using electric cargo bikes and an electric van.

During the coronavirus pandemic, Food Connect has been making weekly collections from Aldi, Lidl, Waitrose and Tesco stores in the Buckingham area, as the other charities that usually collect food from those stores have been closed, with Food Connect ‘filling the gap’ until they reopen.

Food Connect fresh produce for distribution

The Food Connect pilot scheme, which supported community groups in Milton Keynes, was hosted by the Wolverton Community Fridge, which partnered with retailers, restaurants, FareShare, Milton Keynes Council and food manufacturers to share healthy food in the community.

The Food Connect pilot took place between September 2020 and February 2021, with deliveries carried out by e-bikes and an electric van.

Project co-ordinator Helen Innes said: “Food Connect has enabled us to provide food to around 800 local families a week and has also reduced the pressure on the volunteers who would be making these journeys by foot, taxi or car to pick up the surplus food.

"The project has helped us establish a more reliable supply, including a wider variety of food to share and was invaluable in allowing us to support shielding households last year. We are so thrilled with the results and look forward to helping the service expand. We’re particularly keen to get more local retailers onboard.”