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Environmental charity launches project to redistribute surplus food

Hubbub, an environmental charity, has this week launched its new project ‘Food Connect’ in Southwark. The project will redistribute surplus fresh food from local retailers to vulnerable households, delivering the produce in an electric van. E-bikes will also be used in the project soon. The food will be gathered and redistributed via the Camberwell Community Fridge by volunteers at the Albrighton Community Centre.

It is estimated that over 300,000 meals worth of food will be shared annually through the initiative. Food partners include national supermarket chains and restaurants such as Sainsbury’s and Nandos, helping these retailers combat their carbon footprint by ensuring that surplus food is shared quickly and energy-efficiently.

The new project will not only provide healthy fresh food to struggling families, it will also help improve air quality in the area, create green jobs, and free up time for volunteers at the Albrighton Community Centre. This will mean that they can focus on more socially-focused initiatives, such as combating loneliness and promoting new skills amongst the community.

The inspiration for the project in Southwark came from the success of the same initiative in Milton Keynes, where 240 million tonnes of food was saved from waste. Furthermore, the fully electric service in Milton Keynes resulted in estimated transport emission savings of 8 tonnes in the first year.

Helen Innes, Project Co-ordinator for Food Connect said: 

“We are thrilled to be rolling out Food Connect to Southwark, creating green jobs and working with Albrighton Community Centre to establish a more reliable and varied supply of healthy food to the local community. The low carbon fleet will not only help reduce carbon emissions, but it will also reduce the pressure on the volunteers who would be making journeys by foot, taxi or car to pick up the surplus food.  We look forward to helping local retailers distribute more surplus food to those who need it, whilst supporting the need for cleaner air.”

Food Connect in Southwark is funded by Hubbub, the Mayor of London and Southwark Council. The partners aim to demonstrate the benefits of a model which can be replicated across London communities.

Find out more about Hubbub here.