Community Hub scheme cuts food waste in Bicester

Some of the Bicester Community Hub team

A new initiative that aims to cut food waste has been launched at the Eco Business Centre in Bicester.

The Bicester Community Hub helps to reduce the amount of food going to landfill by working with supermarkets and local retailers to donate food to the community.

At the same time as nearly half of Brits are having to cut their food budget in response to rises in fuel price and the cost of living, a large of amount of fresh produce is thrown away everyday by supermarkets and other food retailers.

Set up earlier this year, Bicester Community Hub was formed in partnership with Hope Church to cut food waste. The hub is a walk-in ‘shop’ where attendees can take a range of donated food products free of charge. It is held at Perch Coworking at the Eco Business Centre on Wednesday evenings and Friday mornings.

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Kelly Catanzaro, Bicester Community Hub’s Project Lead, said: “When we initially planned to launch the Hub with sustainability goals in mind, we had no idea just how much of an impact it would have on the local community economically. It has been a lifeline for some, not only because it’s helped them to put food on the table, but because the social interaction and one-to-one support they’re getting has offered much-needed respite from busy everyday life.

“We really emphasise the community element of it because it’s important to us that the people who come and use the Hub feel comfortable with the team and enjoy being here too. We’re not a food bank, but if people can use the service to counteract rising energy bills and fuel costs, we want to ensure we’re in a position to signpost anyone in need to support services that may be able to give some extra help.

“Whether it’s bits for lunch the next day, or ingredients for their evening meal, we encourage Hub users to take only what they need so that as many members of the community can benefit from what’s on offer, and this has helped us to reach lots of people already. Now more than ever, we can’t afford to let good food go to waste, and we hope the Hub will inspire Bicester people to think more about waste in their own lives and strive for a more sustainable way of living going forward.”

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