Food banks in Brighton are being used 25% more than last year, with many people in the city relying on them. Data accumulated by Brighton & Hove City Council shows that almost 1,400 emergency food parcels were distributed in 2023, compared to 1,000 in 2022. The rising cost of living, job losses, and stagnant wages are among the many factors that have created this problem, with a rapid increase in the number of people now unable to afford the basic necessities. With food bills having leapt 27% over the past two years, food banks face an uncertain future due to high demand. Fortunately for Brighton residents, there are more than 50 affordable food projects across the city that provide support for those most in need. To help prevent this problem from impacting Sussex students, the Food Waste Cafe (FWC) Sussex society operates a weekly stall.
Run by a team of student volunteers, FWC distributes food that has been saved from supermarket surplus waste by the charity FareShare Sussex. By reducing food waste, it highlights the food wastage problem across the UK, while also providing environmental and economic benefits
A unique feature of the FWC stall is that it is built on a ‘pay as you feel’ basis, providing a cheap alternative to buying groceries, thus making it accessible to everyone. On top of this, FWC has managed to save and distribute 1,895kg of food in the past year, showing its capability to take collective responsibility for this problem and change it for the better. The stall has also resulted in nearly £1,000 being raised, which has been used to help food banks across the city replenish their stocks and supply fresh food to the people who use them. The Food Waste Cafe Sussex society is a great example of how easy it is to make a difference to the environmental and economic struggles we currently face. The society is always looking for volunteers, and can continue to thrive with the help of other students.
You can find its pop-up stall every Monday outside the entrance to Falmer House, where you can shop for dried goods, fruit, and veg at a price determined by you. Make sure to bring your own bag!