Has this been tried before?
As far as we know, we are also the only project in the country that places emphasis on food waste, environmental issues, young people’s volunteering and nutrition all in one project. (If we’re wrong, let us know!)
Who are you funded by?
See our Friends page
Where does your model and support materials come from?
At FoodCycle, we believe that there are already great organisations out there with lots of experience doing great things. Thus, we do not reinvent the wheel, but take proven elements of some of our partner’s projects and incorporate them into our own.
Therefore, we borrow our model management model from READ International, who have had 4 years of experience running volunteer led book collection projects at 30 universities in the UK.
For our safety protocol for food preparation and handling, we work with FareShare, a social enterprise that collects and redistributes food surplus collection on a national scale.
The way we see it is that with so many other organisations doing great things with established models, we’ll borrow what works and adapt it to our own use. Similarly, we hold a similar policy and make our resources and contacts available to anyone that asks!
How long does it take to get a Hub running?
This depends on you! Each project is different. We’ll be honest: sometimes it only takes 2 months. Sometimes 4. However, what we can tell you is that we believe that each community has surplus food and idle kitchens. As well, there will be people that are affected by food poverty and enough young people there to want to do something about it. With the right attitude, and support from FoodCycle staff, we are confident that a Hub can start anywhere in the UK.
Isn’t it illegal to serve out of date food?
Yes and no. Yes it is illegal to serve food that is past its use-by date. So we do not do this. What is fine is that we use food that is past its Best-before and Sell-by date.
Who will we cook for?
You pick who you want to work with. Whether it’s the local homeless hostel, a refugee drop-in centre, a senior care home, or a children’s day care, as long as it is shown that they can benefit from the food, then that’s fine with us!
Where do we get the money to do all this?
Once you recruit your group of Hub Champions, conduct a feasibility study of your local community, and find that all the necessary preconditions are in place for the Hub to go ahead, we will then give you the money to get things started!
We don’t give you the whole amount though, that would be too easy! Each project, serving approximately 2500 meals a year (about 50 a week), will cost about £5000 to run. The cost varies, but if you already have most of your kitchen equipment or transportation is a small issue, then the running costs decrease significantly.
What support do we get from head office?
- Monthly – two monthly meetings with a FoodCycle member of staff to go over progress and barriers
- Support with how to apply for local funding and holding fundraisers
- Access to monthly training workshops on leadership, management, fundraising, etc..
- Access to meet-ups with other FoodCycle Hubs, including an annual FoodCycle conference
- Intensive training workshop for the Hub Champions at the beginning of each Hub year
- Membership of a national movement of young people all working towards social change in the UK!
- Online training for all volunteers to meet food preparation hygiene standards in the UK.
- Handbooks to allow each Hub to maintain a high level of professionalism in the kitchen
- Insurance coverage for the volunteers of each project
We will give you all the support you need to set up a Hub, run a Hub, and keep it going throughout the year. All you need to come up with is the energy and enthusiasm to make it happen!
In our experience in setting up the first Hubs, we found that many young people had similar frustrations about food waste and food poverty in their community, but lacked the time and expertise to start a project in their community.
What FoodCycle does is provide a package that allows groups of young people to start their own project, with all the nitty-gritty paperwork already done. Thus, when you pay for the mentorship, we also provide you with all the necessary steps to make each Hub meet UK laws and guidelines for food businesses.
What about the Food Safety Certificate, How long is it? Are people expected to revise for it?
At the moment it is an online exam, shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours and don’t worry no revision necessary - all is covered on the course!
I can’t find a Hub in my local area!
Right now, we're putting a hold on new Hubs, but watch this space!
Am I too old?
No - it's all about being young at heart. We just want passion, enthusiasm and commitment - if you have all three check out our quiz to see if you are capable of being a Hub Champion, or fill out an application form.
Do I have to stay for a whole year
Obviously this isn’t always possible - we just ask that you help hand over to a new Hub Champion.