A new initiative between environmental officials and one of Britain’s leading supermarket chains, which aims to reduce food waste, has been launched in Downham.
The Norfolk Waste Partnership, which includes represenatives of all the county’s district councils, has been given almost £50,000 of funding through Sainsbury’s Waste Less, Save More programme.
The money is being used to establish seven Discovery Communities across the county to help promote ways of reducing waste.
And representatives of councils, community groups, environmental organisations and charities were in Downham last Friday to launch the programme there.
The town has been chosen as West Norfolk’s location for the programme, while Fakenham is North Norfolk’s participant.
Waste partnership chairman John Fisher said: “The average family throws away £700 worth of food a year.
“By receiving this grant funding from Sainsbury’s we can offer advice to inspire householders to cut down on their waste and save on their food bills.
“We are delivering a combination of awareness raising events as well as practical cookery skills sessions, to inspire hope people to reduce their food waste and potentially save money on food shopping at the same time.”
The pop-up activity afternoon was arranged to back up the Plan, Eat, Save leaflets that were delivered to all households in Downham Market last week.
Exhibitors included the Plan, Eat, Save team from Norfolk County Council, who focused on reducing food waste; Recoup, the trade body for companies that specialise in recycling plastics; the borough council’s Recycling and Waste Management team; the Salvation Army, whose textile banks and charity shops recycle clothes and shoes in the borough, and Greenworld from Lynn, where garden and landscaping waste is recycled into compost.
The grant awarded to Norfolk is part of a £1 million investment programme by Sainsbury’s into rolling out its waste reduction programme to almost 150 areas around Britain.
The move follows a year-long trial of the initiative in Derbyshire.
And Sainsbury’s project leader Paul Crewe said: “We are really excited to be rolling out the next phase of Waste less, Save More.
“We’ve learnt a lot over the last 12 months about how we can help households waste less food and save money, but we’re now casting our net wider to see the innovative ways communities up and down the country tackle food waste.”
The initiatve will also see a network of community fridges unveiled around the county to encourage residents and businesses to share food that might otherwise go to waste.
The first such fridge was launched in Watton last week, while events took place in Fakenham yesterday to launch its community fridge at First Focus in Oak Street.
Not date has so far been given for the Downham fridge to be installed.
But Mr Fisher said: “We are delighted to be part of the UK’s growing Community Fridge network.
“With ultimately seven Community Fridges being installed in Norfolk, we will have the largest network of Community Fridges outside of London.”