KINDHEARTED volunteers have been cooking up a storm to ensure that no food goes to waste – and that nobody goes hungry.
A group from the FoodCycle Portsmouth initiative have been collecting food from retailers that would otherwise be thrown away and have been turning it into three-course meals.
As well as meals for those in need, the volunteers have been raising funds by turning their surplus into tasty jams, marmalades and chutneys.
Not only do they give these jars to people in need, they have been selling the produce to raise money to fund their running costs.
And dedicated volunteers took their products – called Pompey Preserves – to the public and ran a stall at Tesco Extra in Fratton.
Gail Baird, hub leader at FoodCycle Portsmouth, said the event was a success and that people snapped up their treats such as the Korean supper dish Kimchi, alongside old favourites including berry and basil jam, grapefruit marmalade and pickled cucumber.
‘We raised about £180 and with the food we got from supermarkets we were able to provide a meal for about 180 people,’ she said.
FoodCycle Portsmouth provides free, flavoursome and nutritious meals twice a week for vulnerable people every Tuesday evening at the John Pounds Centre, and Thursday evening at King’s Church, Somerstown using donated food.
The initiative started as they found a surplus after the meals, which needed to be eaten – or cooked – to avoid it going into the bin.
Gail said: ‘Even after feeding all those people, we had leftover products so that’s how Pompey Preserves started.
‘With the leftover carrots I had, I made loads of chutney. You can make a preserve from anything and we obviously didn’t want to see the food go to waste.
‘Mixed berries is the most popular, but we’ve a lot of choice. We even have Kimchi, which is a Korean pickle full of proactive bacteria that is good for your gut.’
Gail thanked Tesco for its support in allowing them to have the stall.
Gemma Morrison, community champion at the store in Fratton Way, said she was pleased to help the cause.
She said: ‘It was a massive success and we are looking for them to have a regular slot at the store.’
The charity plans to hold an event on October 8 at King’s Church, in Somerstown, where it will provide a five-course meal to 5,000 people. To get involved e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.