Taking good food further
REPORT YEAR THREE
Taking good food further
REPORT YEAR THREE
Despite significant progress on reducing waste across sectors over recent years, WRAP estimates that a vast quantity of surplus remains in the UK food system and that 35% of the UK’s GHG emissions comes from our food and drink.
Improve surplus food redistribution for retailers and communities
Food Connect is a professional food redistribution service developed and delivered by Hubbub, that uses zero-emissions vehicles. The service tackles the ‘final mile’* challenge by delivering good quality surplus food for community groups to share. Following a pilot in Milton Keynes, the model launched in London in 2022 and now operates from four community sites.
*Final mile is the last step of a product’s journey
Develop a cost-effective and efficient model that creates fair, green jobs
Improve the quantity and quality of food collected that can be shared
Improve air quality
Help address challenges for community groups caused by the rising cost of living and increased demand for their services
Over 1,000 tonnes of food
Over 2.5 million meals
Over 150k visits
30% fruit and veg (est)
16 community groups
* Figures from Department for Transport 2023 based on a diesel van producing 228g greenhouse gases per mile
7 electric vehicles
172 retail partners
18 tonnes GHGs (transport)*
15 part-time green jobs
80k clean miles travelled
457 tonnes of food Over 1 million meals Supported 66k visits
8 tonnes GHGs (transport)*
Over 34k clean miles travelled
“Food Connect are a pleasure to work with, and in the last year, through the Fareshare Go scheme alone have achieved a collection rate above 85% and collected over 1600 donations which would have ended up in waste and distributed them to the community.
• Food Connect offers a single point of contact for donations.
• Couriers are equipped to take the food away quickly, whatever the quantity. The team is trained in manual handling and food safety and offer great customer service.
• We can provide data for sustainability reporting, and rich stories of how surplus is used in the community.
“Our Food Connect
“The team have always been very responsive, helpful and efficient in confirming and collecting stock that we are looking to donate. No product is deemed too little, too big or unnecessary. We have already recommended them to other companies and will continue to pass on the name to anyone who asks.”Fliss LindenManager at Selva Fulfilment, January 2023
e-bike, trailer and riders have enabled us to increase our weekly food collections and reduced the number of short car journeys to nearly none. With two dedicated riders we have been able to build better relationships with the stores who donate and also look at other ways in which we can help the local community without burning petrol.”Jude King - Sustainable Merton, May 2023
Food Connect showcased as a Food Flagship Initiative by ReLondon and the GLA.
Oasis Waterloo Hub launched a new Food Connect bike service providing food for two community fridges.
Hubbub invited to showcase Food Connect at a roundtable hosted by the Felix Project, supported by the GLA and attended by FareShare, City Harvest and others.
Milton Keynes welcomed Water Eaton Church, St Mary’s Community Centre and Tinkers Bridge Residents’ Association to their distribution network.
Sustainable Merton launched a new bike service helping their established network of food hubs and community fridges.
Community groups face increased demands for their services and pressure to respond to the changing needs of their neighbourhoods. In the last 12 months we have seen an increase in visitor numbers. Food Connect enables community teams to focus their time and resources to help visitors access services and create new opportunities for their community.
During the coldest winter months, volunteers organised a warm room for residents offering a hot meal and social interaction with their neighbours. The project proved so popular it has become a community meal for up to 50 people every week.
Tinkers Bridge Residents’ Association took part in Hubbub’s Eat Your Pumpkin campaign by hosting a children’s disco, pumpkin tasting and providing recipe cards to inspire their neighbourhood. Their team have organised community events for Easter and the King’s Coronation and have an ongoing mission to save plants from supermarkets to brighten up their neighbourhood. Residents identified an increase in abandoned pets in their area. Food Connect secured new sources of pet food for volunteers to share with those that need it.
“The food that is delivered has proved very popular, as volunteers it makes us feel so good that we are stopping edible food going to landfill and helping so many people.”
April Rennie, Tinkers Bridge Residents’ Association and Community Fridge Co-ordinator, June 2023
The Oasis Community Fridge has recently partnered with St. George’s Cathedral Southwark. The relocation of their weekly fridge sessions has enabled them to provide a regular breakfast club in a relaxing café atmosphere all year round while waiting for the community fridge to open. Huge catering portions are prepacked in family and single portions so that visitors can enjoy healthy cooked food at home. Oasis Community Fridge launched ‘The Refill’ a subsidiary project to enable visitors to access and refill environmentally friendly personal and household products. Downtime on the team’s bike and trailer has been vital in aiding movement between venues and supporting their new projects.
“The e-bike and riders have so improved our food provision. Feel really blessed.”
Di Blackler, Oasis Waterloo Hub, April 2023
“With dedicated riders we are able to respond quickly to last minute offers of food and requests for help. When we have good stocks of food we share with our community fridge partners and will send over a consignment with the e-bike to the Polish Families Association to help them with their supplies which they use for Ukrainian families who have recently arrived fleeing the war.”Jude King, Sustainable Merton, May 2023
“When the idea of opening a Community Fridge and then launching Food Connect was first proposed to us, the objective of reducing food wastage alone stood out as making this a project worth pursuing. Looking back now, it was impossible to imagine the myriad of additional benefits it would bring to us as an organisation, to the staff and volunteers that work for us, and of course to the various disadvantaged communities we represent. It has been an utterly inspiring journey.”Steve Hedger, Albrighton Community Centre, April 2023
simpler donation experience for food businesses
Taking what we have learned from our operations in London and Milton Keynes and Hubbub’s growing network of community fridges provides an exciting opportunity for Food Connect to explore scaling the model.
Supported by Starbucks, we are exploring the expansion of Food Connect to other locations.
We welcome conversations from prospective partners and funders to help extend this service.
A significant rise in the quantity and quality of food collected
“The ‘last mile’ is always challenging, to see reductions in both food waste and emissions (due to the electric vehicles used) really is a double win!”
An efficient model that guarantees surplus goes to human consumptionLee Porter, FareShare
Our current funders: Starbucks, Mayor of London, Southwark Borough Council and local supporters and fundraisers.
All food partners that have shared surplus food and strive to reduce their food waste.
Old Bath House Community Centre, Albrighton Community Centre, Oasis Waterloo Hub and Sustainable Merton for hosting and running the service.
Sian, Ritchie, Mark, Chris, Nathan, Steve, Lynette, Hel, Jackie, Steve, Dennis, Peter, James, Sarah, Andrew, Jessica, Cliff, Dawn, Di, Graeme, Jim, Ruth, Tessa, Ben, Jude, Helen, Jason, Craig and Katie who work tirelessly to make Food Connect a success.
Our true food waste warriors!
Registered Charity Number 1158700