5 minutes with FirstBite Community Food Project

1 September 2017

FirstBite in Winchester uses food that would otherwise go to waste to run cooking workshops and a community cafe for local vulnerable people. For some, learning new cooking skills can be life-changing. We caught up with Mary Needham from FirstBite to hear more about the project. She told us how surplus food – redistributed to FirstBite by FareShare Southern Central – is at the heart of their activities.

Tell us about the FirstBite Community Food Project?

We deliver cooking and nutrition workshops to vulnerable groups, empowering them with food preparation skills and healthy eating knowledge. We also run a community cafe that offers those on a low income a social environment where they access good, hot food at affordable prices

Along with health promotion, we are also very careful to make sure our participants know where the food comes from, not only does this generate awareness of food waste but it also helps people think about their own attitude towards food, budgeting and cooking at home.

FirstBite's very own version of eton mess, featuring surplus fruit from FareShare. Photo shows many cups of the dessert decorated with mint, sharon fruit and blueberries.

FirstBite’s “Waste Not” version of eton mess made with surplus fruit.

Tomatoes and lettuce in a fresh salad made by FirstBite Community Food Project.

Fresh salad made by FirstBite Community Food Project.

What difference does using surplus food make to FirstBite?

There is nothing better than knowing you have made a difference to someone’s life; with FareShare we at FirstBite can make a difference to lots of lives!

We are a community group relying solely on volunteers, limited funding and donations. FareShare is absolutely crucial to our operation; without FareShare we simply would not be able to do what we do. We would not be able to offer the quality or variety of food that we do. We would have to compromise on fresh fruit and veg, which is essential for nutrition and health.