New King’s Lynn co-operative launched to distribute food donations to needy

Launch meeting of new anti-food waste co-operative for Purfleet Trust, King's Lynn.
LtoR, working together as one, Joy Wylie (Purfleet Trust), Andy Waite (Benjamin Foundation), Sandra Coffill (Genesis), DC Darren Nurse (Norfolk Constabulary 180 Scheme), Francis Bone (The Gravy Boat), Lucy Bains (Genesis), Nadine Petch (YMCA), Julie Bowyer (Benjamin Foundation) ANL-161006-175031009

Launch meeting of new anti-food waste co-operative for Purfleet Trust, King's Lynn. LtoR, working together as one, Joy Wylie (Purfleet Trust), Andy Waite (Benjamin Foundation), Sandra Coffill (Genesis), DC Darren Nurse (Norfolk Constabulary 180 Scheme), Francis Bone (The Gravy Boat), Lucy Bains (Genesis), Nadine Petch (YMCA), Julie Bowyer (Benjamin Foundation) ANL-161006-175031009

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Charities, business leaders and the police have teamed up to launch a new food waste initiative in a bid to help more people in need around the Lynn area.

The Food Waste Donation Charity Co-operative was established during a meeting held at the Purfleet Trust’s headquarters in the town on Friday.

The trust is one of several charities who have signed up to the scheme, which is intended to pool donated food from local businesses so it can be given to those who need it most.

Other groups who have already signed up include Genesis, the Benjamin Foundation, the YMCA and organisations which support people following release from prison.

The King’s Lynn Foodbank is also understood to be backing the scheme, but has not yet formally signed up.

The initiative will be co-ordinated by town businessman Francis Bone, who is now intending to seek premises in the town where donated food can be stored and distributed from.

He said: “I’m over the moon with how it’s gone. It’s fantastic. We’ve had a really good response.”

And he suggested the initiative could even help to reduce crime.

He said the meeting was told that some people who are currently supported by one of the participating charities had said they would not steal from businesses who contribute to the scheme.

He added: “That, to me, is a positive, that commitment from the people we’re aiming to help.”

Mr Bone, who began campaigning on the issue of food waste after making his own donation to the Purfleet Trust in April, says he is hopeful that other traders will now start to come on board.

He said: “Since I started this campaign I have found that it gives me strength and pride to help empower people who with a little help and support can get their lives back on track.

“Each and every one of these organisations needs continued support to carry on the good work they do.”

He is hopeful that the idea can be rolled out both regionally and nationally over the coming months if it proves to be successful in West Norfolk.

But he also sees it as a way of highlighting other aspects of the food waste problem, such as the rejection of so-called “wonky” vegetables because of their shape or appearance.

He said: “It’s not just helping the homeless. It’s a food waste campaign.”