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What is food sustainability?

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This quarter's Community Champions are groups working on food sustainability.

There are many different elements to food sustainability, such as; enabling access to healthy food, reducing food waste, and ensuring educational resources are available. As a result there's a real variety in the groups we're supporting through our Community Champions scheme.

According to Love Food Hate Waste, in UK households we waste 6.5 million tonnes of food every year, 4.5 million tonnes of which is edible. WRAP state that the majority of food waste (70%) comes from households.

A great way to combat this is to teach people what they can do with food, and many groups we're supporting are dedicated to doing exactly that.

Being able to make a meal from scratch has many benefits; it's lower cost, healthier, and less waste if you're able to make full use of everything you buy.

Groups we're supporting, such as Willoughby Allotments or Green Futures, also want to involve the people they help with the earlier stages of food preparation - sowing and growing fruit and veg.

There's also an affordability side to good, healthy food. This is an important issue for the majority of groups we're supporting. Big Issue reported that the use of food banks soared during the pandemic, and that parents might eat less or skip meals entirely to ensure their children were able to eat.

The FSA also reported that food became less affordable for families throughout the pandemic, due to living costs rising. Being at home means larger utility bills and increased costs from having children home from school, resulting in less money for food.

The pandemic has also left many people feeling isolated. Data from YouGov showed that 53% of those interviewed felt their mental health had worsened due to the pandemic.

This makes the social side of food even more important, and many of the groups we're supporting provide a space for service users to come together to enjoy a tasty plate of food.

Often, these groups will also make use of surplus food, teach people to cook healthy meals, or offer produce at low prices.

Every time a member shops in a Lincolnshire Co-op outlet from 5th September 2021 - 5th December 2021, a donation will be made to the Community Champions scheme.

We will also raise money through activities, events and collection boxes in our outlets.

Keep an eye on our social media channels for all the latest news and how you can get involved with our fundraising. Find us on; Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

To find out more about our Community Champions, click here.


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