Volunteering to tackle Food Waste & Food Poverty
Ciao! My name is Roberto and I’m from Rome, Italy. Since the beginning of March I’ve been part of a team who has had the pleasure of volunteering on a daily basis for The Felix Project. Together we have been tackling food waste and food poverty.
I’m here together with an international team of other young people through a project organized by AIESEC, the biggest student organization in the world, that promotes both international volunteer opportunities and professional internships for young people.
UN Global Sustainability Goals:
No hunger/ No Poverty/ Sustainable Cities
This project is part of the Feed the Planet initiative founded by WorldChefs in partnership with the Electrolux Food Foundation. As members of AIESEC we always strive to be sustainable, hence our partnership with the United Nations aligning all of our volunteer opportunities to one or more of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
I have been based at the Enfield depot, in North London, which is the newest Felix warehouse. Before arriving I researched food waste in the UK but nothing could prepare me for the vast amounts of food being discarded and processed by us everyday, I was truly shocked looking at all the crates of food that would have ended up in the bin!
UN Global Sustainability Goals: Health & Well being
The Felix strap line is "Good Food for good causes and amazingly, almost half the rescued food is fresh fruit and vegetables, there's also great artisan bread and large amounts of organic and vegan produce. So we're talking about healthy nutrition that's going straight to disadvantaged and vulnerable people.
The Power of community
The warm welcome that we always receive both at the depot and during our deliveries has really moved me. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many different people, from all walks of life both sitting next to me in the van and at the front doors of every charity and NGO that we visit every day. Each person has their own story and background, all of them linked by the same battle against the food waste crisis and wanting to help tackle hunger.
UN Global Sustainability Goals:
The role has been extremely varied. During the last week we had the opportunity to deliver four lessons in three different primary schools in North London about the Sustainable Development Goals and how and why fighting food waste is fundamental to achieving them.
It was an amazing experience that gave us a great insight into the youngest generation and how important sustainability, the environment and sharing food and resources are to the health and well being of people and the planet.
Let's work together
This experience has clearly shown me that food insecurity shouldn't be an issue here in Europe or elsewhere. Rome wasn't built in a day, but if we all work together to prevent food waste, getting involved for a few hours a week with organizations like the Felix Project, we can bring about significant change. The great work done by the Felix project proves that.
The power of teamwork
Incredibly, for an affluent country, the UK has 8 million people suffering from food poverty. We have delivered free food to many schools in economically deprived areas and work with homeless projects, mental health charities, women's refuges, projects helping vulnerable elderly, families and youth, community kitchens, food-banks and charities helping rehabilitate ex-offenders and people recovering from addiction. Most of these wonderful charities cook for their members and some act as a food duistribution service
An infrastructure for a sustainable future
The journey so far has been an incredible one and change starts today, shaping our environment to all live better together. Working with our partners we have started delivering upon our promise with the projects we are working on aiming to create a better society and future. Together we are already making a difference in many parts of the world.
Finally, I would like to say that this experience has led to me tasting, trying and eating some very strange food with most of it past its best before date, but hey! as they say ... when in Rome!