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FoodCycle Uses Surplus to Feed Local Communities

By: Tiana Reid - Published: • References: foodcycle.org.uk & facebook
You've certainly heard it (or maybe even said it) before: "Finish everything on your plate and don't waste any food!" While those scraps from your leftover dinner typically end up in your trash bin (or hopefully, in the compost), FoodCycle does something different with a different kind of waste.

FoodCycle is a non-profit organization based in London, England, that uses young volunteers and unused professional kitchen space in order to make the most of surplus food. But FoodCycle doesn't simply cook up delicious and healthy meals for those who need them; instead, as a group, they foster positive social change in the community.

Founded by Kelvin Cheung, FoodCycle's mission is threefold. Firstly, they aim to do something with the estimated 400,000 tons of surplus food from the food retailer industry that could be made into nutritious dishes. Secondly, FoodCycle attempts to tackle the 4 million people in the United Kingdom that are affected by food poverty. Lastly, FoodCycle is crucial as a volunteering opportunity for youth ages 16 to 25, many of them who are searching for employment.

In addition to serving food in various communities both within and outside of London, FoodCycle has also expanded to community cafes, where nutritious, affordable and healthy meals are served in an encouraging environment where cooking skills and food knowledge will be shared without using prescriptive or confrontational methods. FoodCycle's first community cafe, Station House, is located at Crouch End, Haringey, London. Some of the meals include roasted vegetables, feta potato cakes, caramelized carrots and brussels sprouts, red cabbage and parsnip stew and banana cake.

In addition, FoodCycle is part of another new development, as a participant in Good for Nothing, a collaborative creation event that brings people together for fast-paced 'doing.' (To get involved, visit Good for Nothing's Ning.) Indeed, FoodCycle is certainly walking the walk by harnessing collective engagement in order to benefit the community and making good use of food surplus that normally gets wasted in astounding amounts.

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