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Going the extra mile to stop food waste

Resurrected Bites, the pay-as-you-feel cafés set up in Harrogate in 2018 to tackle food waste haven’t been deterred by the Covid-19 lockdown. Not happy to see even more food going to waste and people going hungry, or short of everyday essentials, they took on the challenge of home delivery.

With cafés at St Marks’ Church, Harrogate and Gracious Street Methodist Church in Knaresborough, already open Resurrected Bites had planned to open a third café at West Park United Reform Church in Harrogate but soon had to change direction when the pandemic hit.

Since the launch of the service, packages consisting of three days-worth of food, toiletries and household items have been delivered, free of charge, to over 1000 vulnerable people in the Harrogate, Knaresborough, Boroughbridge and Ripon area.

“We try to work through referrals from people who know where the most need is, such as social services, mental health and carers support charities, schools, GPs, district nurses and churches but we have also helped a number of self-referrals - people on zero-hour contracts and the self-employed who are waiting for their Universal Credit payments.” Michelle Hayes, founder of Resurrected Bites

Food packages are made up of good quality products, donated mostly by shops and supermarkets, although a lot has come from businesses that suddenly had to close due to the pandemic lockdown.

A lot of the food comes from FareShare, the UK’s national network of charitable food redistributors, who have a warehouse in Leeds. They intercept food waste at the manufacturing stage, which means they can provide larger quantities with a longer shelf-life.

The food supplied does not exceed the use-by-date and great care is taken to ensure it is safe and of good quality. The cafes have had three environmental health inspections and have received five stars at each one.

Around one third of food in the UK goes to waste which most people will probably agree is wrong on many levels. Firstly, that good quality food should go to waste when so many people already go hungry and secondly, that food waste is a huge green-house gas emitter and therefore exacerbates climate change.

If “food waste” was a country it would be the third biggest greenhouse gas emitter after China and the USA.

“We have managed to stop tonnes of food from going into landfill and to get it to people who were in desperate need of food.” Ian Booth, Resurrected Bites Café Manager

Everyone can help to prevent food waste by using what they buy but in recent weeks buying patterns have changed because of lockdown and people may find they have more food and toiletries than they need or want. Resurrected Bites are happy to receive donations. For details of how to donate please get in touch

If you or someone you know would who cannot access a normal home delivery service would like to order food you can complete an order form here

Hear more from Michelle Hayes in this interview on Mid-morning with BBC Radio York starting at the 3:20:50 timeline and visit the Resurrected Bites Facebook page to keep up to date with their activities.


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