FoodCycle, the charity that aims to make food poverty, loneliness and food waste a thing of the past for every community, is in urgent need of volunteers as it fights to fill almost 4,000 empty volunteer slots this summer.
FoodCycle Head of Programmes, Sophie Tebbetts says: ”Every summer we see a decline in volunteer sign-ups due to many reasons - from students returning home to parents having less time during the holidays. This year, 3,947 volunteer slots need to be filled between now and September – made more urgent by the cost-of-living crisis which has helped to see a 59% increase in our guest numbers in the last 12 months. By dedicating just a few hours of your time to volunteer with us, you can help a family get access to a cooked, nutritious meal. Please join us at your local project this summer and help us break the cycle of hunger. Once you witness the immense difference it makes in people's lives, you won't regret it!”
From April 2022 and April 2023, FoodCycle’s guest numbers of across the UK have surged by 59%. The charity which serves up free community meals every week using surplus food currently has 73 Projects across England and Wales. So far in 2023, they have served nearly 60,000 community meals and saved 112,921 kilograms /112 tonnes of perfectly good food that would otherwise have been binned .
Volunteer roles at FoodCycle are flexible, are open to anyone and do not have a minimum time commitment. Roles are equally inclusive and range from food collection to surplus food coordinators to cooking in the kitchen or hosting out front. Training is provided and volunteers are invited to carve out their own niche from master chef to tea-maker to washer-up to veg chopper. Those that love to lead, can even train to be a Project Leader and gain key transferrable management skills running Projects.
Paul, FoodCycle Volunteer says; "Because of FoodCycle, I’ve found I enjoy cooking and being in the kitchen environment and it’s something I’d love to do as proper paid work. Being at FoodCycle every week helps to show that I am reliable, can work with other people and that I am committed, so it’s really changed things for me. We have a natter and a laugh, and I like the teamwork and the people. We eat good food and catch up on what we’ve been doing in the week. Everyone is very kind and very inclusive."
FoodCycle’s free community meals are open to all, and guests range from low-income families, people affected by homelessness, single people facing loneliness and those who simply cannot afford to buy food. No questions asked, you can just turn up and take a seat.
Without volunteers, FoodCycle cannot provide a vital service to the community who have come to rely on the chance to sit down to a free, three-course meal every week.
To sign up as a volunteer or for more information on FoodCycle PLEASE CLICK HERE