Hitchin Food Rescue Hub given grant ahead of April opening

Hitchin Food Rescue Hub founder Emma Ince Goulding (left) with Aletheia Mashiri from Getting Rooted

Hitchin Food Rescue Hub founder Emma Ince Goulding (left) with Aletheia Mashiri from Getting Rooted C.I.C. Picture: Sarah Jenkinson - Credit: Archant

A new hub set up to tackle food waste in Hitchin has been awarded a £2,000 grant by North Herts District Council’s Hitchin Committee.

Hitchin Food Rescue Hub is set to operate as a pop-up café – collecting surplus and unsold food from supermarkets and other businesses in the town, giving customers the chance to pay what they want for the food.

There will also be refreshments and snacks on offer, allowing people to stop for a drink or a bite to eat.

The grant will go towards setting up the project, including buying equipment and training volunteers, with the hub set to open next month.

NHDC Hitchin Committee chairman Ian Albert, who is a Hitchin Bearton ward councillor, said: “We are pleased to support this project and appreciate the hard work of the volunteers to get it off the ground.

“As well as helping the local community tackle food waste, the project will play a valuable role in bringing residents together, helping to build a sense of community.

“We wish the organisers every success and look forward to coming along to the café once it is open.”

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The inspiration for the hub came after founder Emma Ince Goulding visited Best Before Café in Letchworth.

“Having visited the Best Before Café, meeting their founder Suzy Holding and hearing her vision, I just knew I had to find a way of bringing this concept to Hitchin,” said Emma.

“Hitchin Food Rescue Hub is a pop-up for the community where all are welcome and we come together to make sure perfectly good food doesn’t end up at landfill.

“Together, with several members of the community and hosted by Getting Rooted CIC, we have been steaming ahead these past six months – ready for a spring launch after the Easter holidays.”

According to figures from WRAP, the UK’s leading sustainability body, 7.1 million tonnes of household food waste was produced in 2015.

According to WRAP’s figures, 70 per cent of this waste – valued at £15 billion – could have been eaten. To find out more about Hitchin Food Rescue Hub, visit hitchinfoodrescuehub.uk.