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PIC: Visitors to the Healthy Living Club enjoy a stew made using surplus food in Stockwell.
Borough Market is tackling food waste by redistributing top quality, surplus produce to 30 charities across London; providing meals for those in need. They have been working with zero food waste charity Plan Zheroes since 2014, and June marks the provision of the 100,000th meal for vulnerable Londoners.
Over the last year, Borough Market and Plan Zheroes have saved close to 17,000 Kilogrammes of surplus food from going to waste – equivalent to 33,358 meals.
Borough Market has contributed funding for Plan Zheroes to co-ordinate the twice-weekly food collections and manage a new ‘Borough Delivers’ scheme. Surplus produce is taken directly from traders and delivered by volunteers on an electric-assisted, zero-emission bike funded by the Evening Standard’s Food for London campaign. This has enabled Borough Market to avoid pollution during delivery and reach charities that are unable to collect the produce themselves.
The initiative involves over 40 volunteers each year and 44 traders from Borough Market, with the top 5 contributors (by weight) being: Ted’s Veg, Bread Ahead Bakery & School, Turnips, Olivier’s Bakery and Northfield Farm.
Much of the surplus food donated by traders is fruit and vegetables, followed by baked goods, but the market’s recent investment in new storage equipment means that meat, fish and dairy can now also be provided to charities.
© Lucy Young 2018