How do you feed 5,000 people in the center of London for free? It doesn’t take a miracle. Just use all the perfectly decent food that wholesalers, specialty shops, and grocery stores throw away every day. The Feeding the 5,000 event, held today in Trafalgar Square, offered up free curry, fresh bread, and smoothies to citygoers using food that would otherwise have ended up in a landfill.
So where did all this food come from? Suppliers like Sodexo, Cafe Spice, and Produce World donated surplus food, irregularly shaped fruits and veggies, and food from cancelled orders. The event, timed to take place during this week’s Copenhagen talks, was staffed entirely by volunteers.
There are already organizations that make use of wasted food. FareShare, one of the Feeding the 5,000 event’s partners, delivers surplus food from supermarkets and manufacturers to homeless shelters and community centers. And on a smaller level, some supermarkets donate unsold food directly to local residents in need. But clearly it’s not enough–feeding the 5,000 had no trouble scrounging up enough food for its event.
So while the Copenhagen talks focus on building up clean technology infrastructures the world over, let’s not forget to use every last scrap of the resources we already have–namely, our food.