From surplus to fork: Take a tour inside a London food charity

By Bethan Grylls

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Food waste Surplus food redistribution Sustainability Video

Join our editor as she steps inside The Felix Project Enfield warehouse and journeys with the food as it makes its way to the Bruce Grove Youth Space in London.

This mini documentary shows the ins and outs of the London-based redistribution charity, The Felix Project, revealing how food is sourced, sorted and delivered to communities.  

We hear from Richard Smith, deputy head of food supply at The Felix Project and the volunteers that help make this possible.

Most people will associate wasted food with retail and hospitality and as such it’s often those establishments that will work with charities like The Felix Project. But actually, redistribution organisations can do a lot of good within manufacturers sites too –it may also surprise you about the types of food that can be rescued.

The kitchen, which The Felix Project recently opened, has enabled these types of partnerships to expand further, as it allows its chefs to create dishes from surplus ingredients that can then be packaged up and offered to those who need them. So rescued food doesn’t have to whole, ready packaged items, it can also be commodities such as surplus sauce or even spices.

Commenting on this, Smith said: “There’s definitely space for us to grow into the area of manufacturers, especially since we opened the kitchen. The food that comes from our manufacturing partners makes such a different to the amount of food that the kitchen can produce and the kitchens we serve.”

We also hear from Jackie and Zephaniah in this video, two volunteers who help get food where it needs to go.

Jackie has been volunteering for The Felix Project for three years and explains the day-to-day of her part-time role.

“It’s great,” ​she told Food Manufacture on the topic of volunteering. “You can choose as and when you come in, it’s a great crowd of people and it keeps you fit! It’s good fun.”

Meanwhile, Zephaniah, who works for one of the connected community hubs – Bruce Grove Youth Space which opens every Friday afternoon for three hours – explained the impact The Felix Project’s donations make and how he works with the communities to tailor the boxes as best he can.

“They will tell us what they need – and we will ask,” ​he said. For example, if one week someone really wanted honey, the volunteers at Bruce Grove would feed that back to The Felix Project.  But generally speaking, Zephaniah said when sorting the donations into boxes, they pack one of everything.

“All the essentials that you’ll need in your weekly shop,”​ he confirmed.

The donations allow the families to budget and acts as a respite, Zephaniah noted.

Watch the video above to find out more. You can also read our feature​ which examines the benefits of working with a redistribution charity and how these organisations operate and manage areas, such as food safety. And if you're in need of further inspiration for novel ways of reducing food waste, you can also watch our free webinar here​ on novel ways on reducing food waste in food production. 

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