Fruitful Abundance was set up 4 years ago to increase food security in Northamptonshire, to limit food waste, and to reform the food system.
We also encourage food growing with the Seedy Saturday event, the Produce show and our own allotments and growing areas.
We have developed a lot over these 4 years and now have five The Real Junk Food Project cafes in Northamptonshire.
In our very first week of rescuing food, when we opened Elsie's - our first cafe, we rescued 15kg of food. The supermarkets and warehouses were not interested in helping us and we regularly bin-dived to obtain enough food to serve at Elsie's. Now, we rescue, on average, 3 tonnes of food a week, diverting it from landfill, to feed people, and there is no longer any bin-diving required.
We encourage everyone to eat the delicious food we make, and to spread the word about how the food system should be reformed. We hope, within the next 3 years, to make Northamptonshire a county with zero food waste, where all edible food is consumed by people. This would include food from shops, supermarkets, factories, warehouses, cafes, restaurants, etc, giving people in Northamptonshire a balanced and nutritious diet.
Each of our cafes form their own communities, bringing together the old and young, able and disabled, rich and poor and all in between. Friendships are forged and great food consumed at our cafes. We are now opening a shop in St James, in Northampton. The shop will offer local residents volunteering opportunities and will build another community where food can be obtained in exchange for a donation of time & skills or money. We know that there is still more edible food going to landfill which we need to rescue to ensure that it does not cause further detriment to the environment.
Rescuing of food needs to be done safely. At present, chilled goods have to be packed into cool boxes and transported quickly to refrigerators. Sometimes, two or three volunteers, with their cars, are involved in a collection, if there is a lot of food. We would like to acquire a refrigerated van to make these collections easier and more efficient. We know we can get a used van from one of our suppliers at a reasonable cost but it would need some re-branding. We are asking for funding to cover these as well as our first year's estimated running costs.
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