Here at FoodCycle, our passionate team of volunteers ensure that every week, people in the community can sit down to eat a hot, nutritious meal while sharing a great conversation with friends.
In order to achieve our goals of connecting local communities, nourishing those that are hungry or in need of, mental health support, inspiring change by promoting sustainability, we need people to help us. Every time a new volunteer signs up, we are one step further to our vision: to make food poverty, loneliness and food waste a thing of the past for every community.
We think it’s about time you to meet some of our wonderful volunteers and find out a little bit more about why they give up their time to support FoodCycle (and why you should too!)
For Marlon, moving from Belo Horizonte in Brazil to Manchester was a big change and made it vital for him to feel find a connection to his new community. Signing up as a cooking volunteer at was the perfect way to do that.
On his first session in the Langworthy kitchen Marlon told us, “everybody has been so welcoming so far and I love the idea that something I’ve cooked might have made somebody’s day. Volunteering in the evenings fits great around my work schedule, so I’ll definitely be back!”
For Louisa, volunteering for FoodCycle Langworthy initially about learning to cook, she says:
“If you can peel a potato, chop a carrot or wash a dish, then you have the skills you need to be a cooking volunteer.”
Now a Hosting Project Leader (with excellent goulash making skills), Louisa serves her community every week and has put in 273 volunteer hours so far.
How could we possibly say thank you?
Well-known in the North East for his extravagant cooking skills, fantastic relationship building, and bringing his dog Stella to the projects, JP is one of our long serving volunteers.
Putting in an incredible 328 hours over 2 years JP is passionate about the work FoodCycle does, and it really shows.
JP really goes above and beyond with his volunteering. From working closely with his local cheese stall to get donations to visiting the local knife shop to get the projects knives sharpened, there is really no stopping JP and his passion for what we do.
Knowing that the work he puts in helps so many people is really what drives JP and we are so happy that he continues to give so much to FoodCycle, his team and his community.
FoodCycle’s approach to sustainability, by changing attitudes to food and society’s impact on the environment by cooking with surplus ingredients, is what really drew Emily to FoodCycle.
It’s hard to believe that all of the tasty meals we serve are made with food that would have otherwise gone to waste. Lots of our volunteers join us because they are passionate about sustainability (and stay because of the delicious meals!)
When the surplus ingredients arrive at the project it’s all hands on deck to come up with a suitable recipe for the evening. When we visited Emily at our Levenshulme Project, the team had taken cous cous, spices and fresh vegetables to whip up a delicious and nutritious tagine!
Without volunteers like Emily to come up with creative recipes and cook our nutritious meals, we wouldn’t have been able to save 359 tonnes of food last year!
In robin’s case, lockdown had left him feeling a bit lonely. Living on his own, he wanted a way to meet some new people and have chat.
Robin told us ‘after a session with FoodCycle Clacton, I feel like I have done some good for the local community, plus I always feel like I have done a four-hour intensive work out!’
‘I’m so glad I decided to help out, I know it’s a small thing I do but I feel like, I’m more a part of my community in Clacton’
Giving up your time to help other people is not a small thing, Robin! Here at FoodCycle we appreciate how much time and effort our volunteers put into their work and we are so grateful.
Feeling inspired? Sign up to volunteer now!