FirstBite Community Food Project

8 February 2017

FirstBite is a not-for-profit community interest company (CIC) run by Winchester-based Debbie Lockett and Mary Needham. FirstBite uses surplus food to cook healthy and nutritious meals at cafes, workshops and events. The food is high-quality, fresh and in-date and would otherwise be destined for landfill due to mis-labelling, damaged packaging or over-ordering.

FirstBite was established in 2016 to promote healthy nutrition through direct community actions, while tackling the systemic waste problem in the food supply chain. As volunteers at the food charity FareShare UK, Debbie and Mary decided they would combine their passion encouraging healthy eating with a plan to limit food waste. November 2016 saw the start of their pilot projects in schools, with the first after-school Grub Club at Winnall Primary attracting a record number of pupils and their families. “We chopped fresh fruit and veg whilst chatting about nutrition and finished the session all eating a healthy meal together”, explained Mary.

A second project, The Community Café, is run in partnership with Hampshire Downs Catholic Parish and based at the Pastoral Centre next to St Peter’s Church on Jewry Street. It is open to all every Thursday between 12.30-2pm. Main meals are priced from £3.50 and puddings are all at £1.50. A pay-as-you-feel soup is always on offer where customers can pay whatever they can for hot soup and garlic bread. The café is already hugely popular. “It was a friendly face that greeted me and the food was delicious. A wonderful initiative and the location is fab”, said one recent diner.

FirstBite is also involved in community events such as Silver Sunday which offers a get-together and a Sunday lunch for older people living alone; Party in The Park and Street Meet. FirstBite cookery and healthy eating workshops run in sheltered housing for young adults and in community groups.

FirstBite will be cooking up a healthy and nourishing soup at the homeless charity fundraiser The Big Sleep Out for Trinity on 5 May. Disco Soup is also planned for this summer along with other food waste awareness activities.

For more information or to get involved, please contact us at: Email:  Tel: 07818470827 Facebook: @FirstBite Twitter: @FirstBiteCo

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