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How huge amounts of Eurovision hospitality food was saved and given out free

1 year ago

How huge amounts of Eurovision hospitality food was saved and given out free
Excess food over Eurovision was saved

When Eurovision reached its climax on Saturday night, it didn’t just leave behind lots of amazing memories for the city, there was also a huge amount of leftover food from the Arena.

But thanks to a team of volunteers from Liverpool Zero Waste Community it didn’t end up going to landfill after Eurovision had ended.

Instead, working with hospitality company Sodexo Live!, they picked up a container load including fruit and veg, herbs and bread that’s now been given out free to families, schools, children’s groups and care homes across Liverpool and Wirral. 

Kathryn Bowman, who helped set up Liverpool Zero Waste Community two years ago, says they were able to act fast and make sure everything was passed on while it was still fresh.

She explains: “Sodexo Live! at the Arena first got in touch with us about three or four weeks ago because they have lots of surplus after events which they didn’t want to be wasted.

“Our group isn’t a foodbank or a food pantry, it’s all about saving surplus food, and because we now have such a big team of volunteers – more than 200 – we can clear a place and redistribute it very quickly so it’s win-win.

“They called us on Friday and said they expected to have all this food left over from Eurovision, but at that point they had no idea what it would be or what the volumes were, only to expect a call on Monday. We had a team waiting and when they phoned they asked if we could clear it in an hour so then it was go, go, go!

“About eight cars and a van went to load it all from a container that was full and then we sorted it all out and it went off to lots of different locations. 

“We made up about 45 bags that were collected from All Souls in L19 on Monday night, more have been distributed today in Northwood Together in Kirkby and St Athanasius Church in Kirkdale, some went to Employability Solutions Garston, a play group in Allerton, Wavertree children’s centre, and the Beavers at St Mary’s Church in Grassendale picked up fruit for their meeting tonight so it’s gone everywhere – nothing has gone to waste.”

Excess food over Eurovision was saved
Excess food over Eurovision was saved

Kathryn says the bags were packed with lovely fresh produce, and not just the regular shop basics.

“There was lots of fruit and veg, so things like broccoli, cauliflowers, leeks, apples, grapes, pea shoots and other salad stuff, boxes of figs, fresh herbs and some fancy things we’d never even heard of – we were telling people they might have to Google those!”

Liverpool Zero Waste Community’s partnering with Sodexo Live! has also seen them dropping off sandwiches to staff at the Royal and Alder Hey hospitals, and to patients waiting to be seen in A&E. 

Kathryn says the Eurovision distribution is an added bonus of Liverpool hosting the competition.

“There have already been benefits for the city, and there’ll hopefully be a lot more in the future, but this is an immediate impact for people, especially when food prices are going up and up.”

To recap on Eurovision click here.

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