Date posted: 15/03/2019

Bidfood chefs transform surplus food into innovative, wholesome meals

Development chefs donate their time and skills to help UK non-profit organisations and charities 

As part of its ‘Chef for a Day’ campaign, Bidfood dispatched five of its highly-skilled Development Chefs to not-for-profit organisations and charities right across the UK to give volunteers and cooks inspiration on how to be more innovative with surplus food stock donated by the charity, FareShare. The Bidfood chefs hosted skills sessions and cookery demonstrations in Manchester, Glasgow, West Berkshire, East Midlands and Birmingham. They aimed to help members of not-for-profit organisations and charities create easily adaptable and nutritious recipes on a low budget, as well as how to make the most of short-dated stock. The chefs also rustled up buffet feasts of delicious food for over 100 people from low-income households, as well as those in rehabilitation, with meals ranging from creamy risottos and hearty winter stews, to vegan breakfast bowls and modern Indian treats. Furthermore, support was given to build the skills of service users to help them feel more confident to cook for themselves in their own home. It’s no secret that the UK has a huge surplus of food stock in the system – it’s estimated that 1.9 million tonnes[1] of food is thrown away each year and 250,000 tonnes of this food is still perfectly edible and enjoyable.[2] Not only does wasted food contribute to greenhouse gases, but when 8.4 million people in the UK are struggling to afford to eat,[3] there’s an obvious need for redistribution of this unwanted food. Bidfood has recognised this issue and is proud to have a long-standing partnership with FareShare, a food waste charity that redistributes food from over-production or food with a short sell-by date. Together, they are able to redistribute wholesale foods to those who need it most. Lindsay Boswell, Chief Executive of FareShare, said: “Bidfood has been providing surplus food to FareShare for almost two years. In the last year alone, the company provided a staggering 40,000 meals, which were redistributed to people in need via our nationwide network of 10,000 charities and community groups.” Speaking about the inspiring ‘Chef for a Day’ campaign, Martin Eshelby, Bidfood Development Chef, said: “There are so many great charities or non-profit organisations out there who regularly support and feed people in need amongst their local communities. We wanted to organise a campaign to support these dedicated people by sharing our skills and knowledge to teach them how to be more innovative when it comes to creating delicious and nutritious meals from food bank donations.” [1] WRAP, Quantification of food surplus, 2016 [2] WRAP, Surplus food redistribution in the UK 2015-2017, 2018 [3] FAO UN, Voices of the Hungry, 2016
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