A cafe that aims to cut down on the amount of food wasted by supermarkets, cafes and households is due to open next month.
Second Helpings will hold its first serving at Trinity Methodist Church in Barn Hill, Stamford, from midday to 3pm on Saturday, October 3.
People can enjoy a meal made from ingredients donated to the cafe that otherwise would have been thrown away. They can then pay what they like for the lunch.
The idea for the project came from a group of churchgoers, but it has evolved into a community effort. George Hetherington presented the idea after seeing the success of The Real Junk Food Project, set up in Leeds by chef Adam Smith.
He said: “What’s happened is that food waste has become pretty big news. When you consider that people like the United Nations are producing figures it’s becoming an international issue.
“There is a real awareness of what’s happening with food and a real awareness of the need to do something. That’s why a variety of people have come to us saying it’s a great project and they want to get involved.”
Second Helpings now has a core of volunteers, including three cooks, to begin the project. They will hold a trial session on September 26 before welcoming the public a week later.
Support and offers of food have come from a variety of shops and cafes around Stamford. Free food hygiene courses have also been offered. A graphic designer has also stepped forward to help with logos. But more help is needed.
George said: “We are in desperate need of supplies of food, and we will be going out to get them before we open. We will go to the supermarkets.
“The biggest waste comes from households so we are also asking individuals to donate. And we do need volunteers.
“We are looking at it very much as a community-church partnership, working for the community.”
According to figures published by the United Nations, 16m tons of food is sent to landfill each year in the UK. Supermarkets often make the news, but they are not the main culprits. By far and away the largest amount of waste come from households - about 6.7m tons per year - with supermarkets sending 4m tons of to landfill.
Based on the average household weekly spend on food, George estimates homes in the town will spend a combined £2,828,870 on food that goes to waste each year. This does not include people in communal living, supermarkets, schools, restaurants and shops.
For more visit www.second-helpings.org.uk.