Dan, from Veolia, recently volunteered at FoodCycle Islington – he shares his experience here…
T’was a clear and crisp morning when we set off to ‘Waitrose’ to see what food they might have saved for us. While we waited anxiously for the team leaders to return, we made introductions and chatted about how we came upon the charity (two mums with children now grown looking to give back to their local community, a young doctor taking a year out, an American student with spare time to give and one retiree keen to share her skills in the kitchen)
The team leaders came back through the doors empty handed: “this is a rare occurrence” they said but without missing a beat, they quickly come up with plan B: half the group returned to base to see what was in the freezer and half ventured to ‘Planet Organic’ and hope they have something in their stores.
I joined the Planet Organic team and make the journey…15 mins later we are exiting the shop with bags and bags of vegetables, fruit, and even a few yoghurts. (There was some decent fish going spare but for obvious food safety reasons this had to stay) We return to base like triumphant hunter/gatherers and start the plans for the three-course meal we will be cooking for the good folks from Mind.
The carte du jour is decided and the team leader writes it up on the board; for starters we will be serving sautee mushroom on toasted crostini with cheese, main will be a delicious South Indian inspired curry and dessert will be roasted pineapple fresh fruit salad and custard. (I should add that we had received five whole coconuts which nobody really knew what to do with so we shredded them all and served every dish with a side of shredded coconut)
Preparation phase went without a hitch – we split into teams and chopped, shredded, and whisked our way to service perfectly on time. The guests entered and each dish was plated up to order; all seemed happy with the selection and the majority of plates came back clean.
As the last plate went out (shredded coconut with that, sir?) it was great to look out to a bustling happy restaurant knowing that this might be the only hot meal these folks might get all week and you may have made life just a tiny bit simpler – just for a moment…
I know I will definitely be back again – hope you’ll get involved too!