Scotland’s first rescued food shop launches in Edinburgh this week, saving tonnes of surplus supermarket produce from the bin.
The shelves of the Food Sharing Hub, at 22 Bread Street, will be stocked with items that are still fresh and good to eat, giving the community access to affordable goods that would otherwise go to waste.
The project is being co-ordinated by recycling and reuse charity SHRUB Co-op, which already runs a swapshop and DIY bike workshops as part of its vision to create a circular economy in the Capital.
Research carried out by SHRUB as part of its Zero Waste Edinburgh Project found that 27 tonnes of food go to waste in the city centre every week, equivalent to roughly 54,000 meals.
Working with Tesco, Co-op and Lidl, its volunteers will now make daily collections from five local supermarkets, selling food on to hub customers on a “pay as you feel” basis.
Hub co-ordinator Laurie King said: “The Food Sharing Hub is the next level for Food Sharing Edinburgh. We are following in the footsteps of very successful projects such as the Share House in Leeds and Wefood in Copenhagen.
“Food Sharing Edinburgh has achieved so much over the last five years and would not exist without its amazing team of volunteers. We’re so excited to expand and begin collecting from supermarkets and we really appreciate their support.”
Ylva Haglund, Food Waste Campaigns Manager for Zero Waste Scotland, added: “The Food Sharing Hub is a great way of making sure food that would otherwise have been wasted is put to good use.
“Every year, 1.35 million tonnes of food waste is generated in Scotland at a massive cost to our economy and our environment. The Hub will be a real asset to the local community, not just in making sure that food finds a home but in giving practical support to people to help them waste less food in their own lives.”
The Food Sharing Hub launches with a community event on Saturday and will be open every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, noon to 4pm, from January 24.