Seaton set to be named one of the UK’s first towns to record near zero retail food waste

PUBLISHED: 16:36 05 August 2020 | UPDATED: 07:57 07 August 2020

SAVE volunteers Angie and Jools collecting from a local supermarket. Picture: SAVE Food Hub

SAVE volunteers Angie and Jools collecting from a local supermarket. Picture: SAVE Food Hub

Archant

Seaton looks looks set to be recognised as one of Britain’s first towns with near-zero retail food waste.

A typical day's collection from just one local Seaton shop. Picture: SAVE Food HubA typical day's collection from just one local Seaton shop. Picture: SAVE Food Hub

Set up in March to collect surplus food from local supermarkets, SAVE Food Hub volunteers recently collected their 4,000th item of food which would once have been binned.

SAVE, which operates across the Axe Valley, works in partnership with Seaton Town Council and local community interest company Re:store.

Its volunteers collect and share edible, in-date food with local food banks, community food projects and local people.

Set up at the start of lockdown the group rescues what shops and supermarkets have, by law, to throw away.

It has expanded rapidly and now makes more than 21 collections each week from the two Seaton Co-Ops, Squirrel Seaton and Tesco.

Seaton volunteer Julie Barton said: “It began with just one person collecting twice a week. Now we have a team of ten trained food collectors working seven days a week.

“The partnership with the town council and Re:store means an accessible, central base where we can distribute food on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday evenings.

“We list it on the sharing app Olio which shows what’s available each evening.”

SAVE food hub sends a lot of food it collects to local food banks in Seaton and Axminster but Julie stressed they are not a food bank.

She said: “Our aim is to stop food being thrown away. In the UK five million tonnes of food is wasted each year. Yet it’s perfectly edible.

“Stores and producers use us to get surplus food to people who can benefit from it before it’s wasted. Anyone can request free food from us.

Angie Morgan, a volunteer from Wychall Park, Seaton, explained the group’s name comes both from what they do and an acronym of where they are based - Seaton and the Axe Valley. And they are keen to help support the development of similar hubs in neighbouring towns.

She said: “We are always happy to welcome new volunteers so if you can spare an hour a week or if you have surplus food to donate please get in touch.”

To know more about what the group does e mail them at savefoodhub@gmail.com


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