Food Waste Warrior Reveals How She Makes Food Last For Her Family And Community
- Kathryn Neale, 37, gets weekly Morrisons Too Good To Go boxes for £3.09
- She also tracks down wasted food on Olio and shares the food with her community
- Kathryn has been sharing food with care homes, food banks and her local church
Food shopping has been one of the major challenges of lockdown, with prices rising, trips to the supermarket turning into stress-filled expeditions, and delivery slots few and far between.
But one mum has revealed how food waste fighting apps helped her family - and her community - save money on food and cut down on food waste during the pandemic.
Mum-of-four Kathryn Neale, 37, from Wellingborough, is a volunteer food collector, and over lockdown, used a range of useful food waste-fighting apps such as Too Good To Go and Olio to not only save money on food for her own children, but also to share with her local food banks and care homes.
Kathryn told money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk: "I have four children and I’m a single mum. I’m currently a stay at home mum until November.
"I get milk vouchers for my little two and I have been getting the government vouchers for the big two but it’s not been quite enough and I still need to get fresh fruit and veg and keep a good supply of full fat milk in the fridge for the little ones.
"So getting a Morrisons box once a week has been a great help. It’s £3.09 and although it is meant to be a veg box, it can consist of anything that is reduced, damaged or otherwise but is always edible and should be up to the value of £10.00.
"Unfortunately with the demand on food during the lockdown, the Too Good to Go app was not helpful to me as the stores and restaurants that use it were either closed or didn’t do the boxes due to demand in store.
"Instead I used an app called Olio. This is an amazing app with some really truly amazing people - they either give food away from their own homes or collect from businesses such as Costa, Pret, Booker and Tesco to list on the app.
"I was collecting huge bin bags full of apples, bread, potatoes, eggs and more from a gentleman in Ampthill, Bedford every Sunday to bring over this way to give to food banks, care homes, my village, my parents shielding and a church in Northampton that was doing food boxes as they couldn’t open their cafe.
"I was able to keep a few items for myself that I knew I could realistically use to help my family.
"The church in Northampton was able to give me food items, treats, sausages and pizza for a donation so I have used that facility also.
"Anything I knew we didn’t like or wouldn’t use I put on Olio and I also set up a crate outside my house so that people walking could pick up some items.
"All Olio items are free, so it is just the cost of petrol that has to be considered.
"I have recently purchased a compost bin so that I can put any excess food waste in there. I have social anxiety so shopping on my own is a big deal.
“With Olio, the church boxes and Too Good to Go it lessens the anxiety and as soon as I see what is in the box my brain is already planning what I can make, who will eat what and it takes the panic away of spending too much money, forgetting something on a list and spending too much time in shops.”
Kathryn says that when one doesn’t need certain foods, there’s no need to waste it or throw it away - everything can be frozen or given away using apps like Olio.
"My tip for people would be just have what you can realistically use, absolutely anything else can be passed on to others,” she adds.
"There is no need to hoard. That’s when food wastage starts.
"My top tips for buying food under lockdown is to go in the evening when it is quiet, and do a big shop so that it will last as long as possible and reduces the number of times you have to go out.
"To make food last longer, freeze things! Cook food into meals and freeze. Use food sparingly and make sure there’s no one picking unless you have something prepared for that.”
Tom Church, co-founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, comments: “According to research, UK households waste 4.5m tonnes of food that could be eaten every year.
“This is a crazy amount of food and it’s thanks to people like Kathryn, and apps like Olio and Too Good To Go, that awareness is being raised about this issue.
“Making sure everyone has enough food has been a particular challenge of lockdown, so I take my hat off to Kathryn and all the other waste warriors who are tracking down food that would otherwise be wasted and making sure care homes and food banks have enough!"
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