In 2021, the Food Hub team reset it’s strategy to make sure it could remain resilient for the future. This builds on our vision and what we have achieved so far. In a process which involved our whole team of trustees, staff and volunteers, we revisited our Vision and Mission and reset our strategy to concentrate on food waste not just from businesses but from our homes. This allows us to increase our response to the climate emergency, by reducing carbon emissions and by strengthening our community.
In 2016, we started as an environmental charity, to stop food waste and provide community groups with useful surplus food. We were astounded at the amount of surplus food there was from local supermarkets and we redistributed 14 tonnes in our first year. The operation grew with more volunteers, more groups and more community partners making sure that this good food was eaten up. In our third year, we redistributed 64 tonnes.
In response to food poverty issues groups raised by our partner groups, we started the Shropshire Food Poverty Alliance in 2018. This was funded by Sustain and Shropshire Council, bringing together partners from across the county to work on solutions.
In 2020, we stepped up to the challenge of COVID, getting safe procedures in place, recruiting new volunteers to replace those who were shielding and switching to a van-led operation. We also sourced additional fruit and veg from FareShare Birmingham to supplement what we could collect locally.
As passed our milestone 5th birthday in April 2021, it became even clearer that food waste and food poverty are symptoms of bigger problems which need systemic change. A more efficient, sustainable and fair food system is needed for the future. We secured start-up funding for the Shropshire Good Food Partnership to provide an effective infrastructure within which we can collaborate for a sustainable food future.
Reset for the future
Reducing food waste is one of the most effective ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Going forward, Shrewsbury Food Hub will focus on the pressing emergency of climate change. It will continue to support the community through surplus food redistribution but will also strive to halve food waste in Shrewsbury and Shropshire. By April 2022, Shropshire Food Poverty Alliance and Shropshire Good Food Partnership will be operating as separate organisations, with Shrewsbury Food Hub as an active member of each.
Our vision is a community where food is valued and not wasted.