First community kitchen launched!
Photo: (From left to right) Mark Gane, Gavin Brown & Nishan Canagarajah
The first community kitchen has launched today at the University of Leicester.
Leicester Services Partnership, the University’s catering and retail operator, has worked in collaboration with the Students’ Union and the University of Leicester’s Waste Leics Working Group to provide a communal kitchen with aims of reducing food waste by sharing donated food and provide access to free; boiling water, drinking water, washing up facility, a microwave and a community fridge.
This is the first community kitchen at the University of Leicester with the vision of more to be installed across the University campus.
Gavin Brown, CEO of Leicester Services Partnership, said: “We want to encourage anyone with surplus food to utilise this facility. They will also help play a key role for the benefit of the environment, by reducing food waste ending up in UK landfill sites, be sociably responsible and endeavour to support the ladder of affordability. It’s great that we can provide a facility that can be accessed by all within the University community.”
Any member of staff or student can use the facility, be involved in donating food and cut food waste by taking food items needed. If you would like to get involved in the community initiative, to either volunteer, donate or take donated food items, please email: CommunityKitchen@le.ac.uk
Sana Ali, Students’ Union Wellbeing Officer, said: “I am delighted with the launch of the community kitchen. This is a culmination of efforts from students, the Students’ Union, Leicester Services Partnership and the University of Leicester’s Waste Leics Working Group. The collaborative project will help to reduce food waste, provide assistance to students facing financial difficulties and make a positive contribution to sustainability.”
How does the community kitchen work?
The Students’ Union will provide volunteers to collect food that has reached its ‘sell by’ date, but within the ‘use by’ date from LSP outlets at closing time and other businesses within Leicester and will place in the community fridge for collection.
To be able to quantify the amount of food being saved from ending up in UK landfill, all food donated and all food taken, would be weighed and recorded by the volunteers.
For any surplus food that is not taken, will be collected and taken to an anaerobic digester plant, for food compost and methane by-product to be turned into fuel, which is done through the University’s food waste scheme. There will soon be the possibility of a scheme, where surplus food, that is not taken, would be donated to food banks and charities.
The community kitchen will be available during the normal daytime opening hours of the Percy Gee Building, at basement level.
HOURS OF OPERATION
9.00am – 10.00pm
University Term Time (For Undergraduates)
9.00am – 5.00pm
Monday – Friday
University Vacations (For Undergraduates)
The community kitchen is open to all members of the University of Leicester community to use.
Swan Products Limited generously donated the equipment provided in the self-use kitchenette and the cupboards and counter tops were made from re-purposed materials.