Team BWoM jumped at the chance to spend a morning volunteering at the Acton depot of our charity partner and food surplus heroes, City Harvest London. We support the charity with our no waste canapes that raise a donation every time they are served at an event. Seeing first hand the incredible array of surplus produce that fills the shelves and vast fridges in the warehouse, and the fleet of City Harvest vans waiting to deliver nutritious ingredients to over 375 charitable projects across London, we were immediately aware of the huge impact and importance of the operation.
Sorting, Grading and Packing
Warmly welcomed by the City Harvest team and having donned our hi-vis jackets and gloves, we were at it from the get-go. The first task was sorting, grading and packing a glorious mountain of bananas. We were struck by the care that goes into the grading process, ensuring that the very ripest fruit is placed in priority boxes for same day dispatch. Nothing is wasted at City Harvest and throughout the warehouse, posters and signs remind us of the mission of the charity: Rescuing Food, People and Planet.
Fruit and Veg Boxes
The second part of the morning was spent sorting through a new delivery of fresh fruit and vegetables that included mushrooms, salad vegetables, scented herbs, sweet potatoes, baby courgettes and a variety of fruit and berries. Creating mixed boxes of gorgeous produce and thinking of the nutritious dishes that the recipient organisations might make with the selections we picked was inspiring, especially in the midst of a cost of living crisis when so many are threatened by food poverty and missing meals on a daily basis.
The team from City Harvest has a palpable sense of positivity and energy. Their work is fuelled by music, good humour and a genuine desire to feed as many vulnerable people as possible whilst preventing perfectly good food from ending up in landfill. We may only have spent a few hours with the charity, but we left filled with admiration for the enormous impact of its activities and a greater understanding of how, even the smallest donation or time spent volunteering achieves something amazing. Click here to find out more about City Harvest’s EQUALS campaign and see how the smallest action can have a profound impact.