Cutting the City’s Food Waste

Exeter Food Action, the local charity which rescues surplus, in-date food and redistributes it to vulnerable people through charities and community organisations in the city, has just

  • celebrated its 6th birthday
  • become an independent Exeter charity
  • appointed Elizabeth Butland as its new Coordinator.

In setting out her plans for the future Elizabeth said:  “One of her tasks is to work with volunteers to make sure that daily collections from stores run smoothly and that deliveries can be made the next day to appropriate groups. Working together they can make such a difference to people’s lives.”

Based in Blackboy Road, EFA takes over 2 tonnes of produce each month from retailers, farms and food companies. As such, it not only decreases food waste but also addresses food poverty, which is affecting so many people in Devon at this time. This rechannelling of good fare has multiple social and economic benefits.

Since its inception, Exeter Food Action has benefitted an estimated 10,000 people in the area. It has saved over £100,000 to local community organisations and reduced carbon emissions by about 100 tonnes! The charity is supported by local councils, churches and community groups and is a partner of Food Exeter.

One of the recipients is Exeter Foodbank, who now take fresh food and pass it on to their users. This partnership works a treat; it means that the Foodbank can provide fresh food to clients without storage issues, and also ensure that the more unusual food donations we’re offered are well used. Manager Mark Richardson says, “Thank you Exeter Food Action for all your tremendous work – we may be separate charities, but we think we make a great team!”

More food goes to school breakfast clubs such as at Cranbrook. Head teacher Stephen Farmer said, “We know eating well at the start of the day is so important for children and their learning, as well as their quality of life. EFA is doing a vital job in helping us to provide that at school”

For more information contact:   Martyn Goss, The Old Deanery, Exeter tel:  01392 215696. The new EFA website is http://exeterfoodaction.org.uk/

Exeter Food Action was part of the wider Devon & Cornwall Food Association based in Plymouth, but is now a separate organization. In the photo are Elizabeth Butland (left) and Saxon Spence (right), who chairs EFA

Exeter Food Action was part of the wider Devon & Cornwall Food Association based in Plymouth, but is now a separate organization. In the photo are Elizabeth Butland (left) and Saxon Spence (right), who chairs EFA