This is a great initiative. And yet, and yet…
I’ve been arguing for more support for hungry people and less waste and more kindness. So why do I feel the need to quibble about what is — on the face of it — another great community based food programme?
[SIDE-BAR: I’m fairly certain that the human walking past isn’t a 1/3rd of the height of this larder…]
I know that these sorts of projects are still necessary; what I’m arguing against is not this initiative (it’s just a convenient hook to hang this piece on) but rather on the fact that in 2019 — in some of the richest countries in the world esp. England and the US — this necessity still exists and is still seen as normal. We shouldn’t be depending on people’s generosity of spirit and natural desire to help others, to make sure that other people can just have enough to eat on, a daily basis.
But if you would like to help in your area with a Free Larder (the Septics call it a “pantry” but we’ll let them get away with that as we know what they’re like…), I’d be the last person to discourage you.
There are pre-built ones that you can order — for those of us for who, like me, DIY isn’t a natural skill — or the plans have been put into the public domain and made available for free, so you can rock your own look:Little Free Pantry designs & schematics
Anything you (we) can do to help is great. Just make sure you help vote out the people responsible for this (ongoing) “in the name of austerity” shit-show.
Looking at the prism of hunger & waste, but from the other end of the supply chain this time, comes the Chefs’ Manifesto — their action plan launched last year (2018) aims to work on the following areas:
1. Ingredients grown with respect for the earth and its oceans.
2. Protection of biodiversity & improved animal welfare.
3. Investment in livelihoods.
4. Value natural resources & reduce waste.
5. Celebration of local & seasonal food.
6. A focus on plant-based ingredients.
7. Education on food safety& healthy diets.
8. Nutritious food that is accessible & affordable for all.Chefs Manifesto Action Plan Booklet
In some ways, there’s nothing particularly new or radical there but then, that’s not surprising. If we get these 8 points right, then we make a real difference. And that hope, that belief, that we all can make a difference, one that sticks, has to be there for everyone.
Their target is “Zero Hunger by 2030”; we can do it.