Two pay-as-you-feel community cafés, bistro nights, a Sharehouse Market, a catering and education programme, a popular Green Box scheme…it’s fair to say Food Works Sheffield has crammed a fair amount into its first few years in the city.
Established in 2015 as The Real Junk Food Project Sheffield, Food Works evolved as an independent organisation in 2019 and saves a tonne of food per day from being wasted.
A non-profit social enterprise, it has a simple, straight forward aim – working to reduce food waste seven days a week.
Founder Jo Hercberg explains: “The team feed hundreds of Sheffield people each week with perfectly good food that could have met a – literally – rubbish end, because it’s all before its use-by date and still perfectly edible.
“We collect surplus food from local and national retailers all around Sheffield seven days a week. This food is then weighed, sorted and distributed to stop unnecessary food waste from being sent to landfill.”
And from a tonne to one (bin) is a pretty impressive stat.
“From over a tonne of food a day the only waste Food Works produce is one tiny wheelie bin full that goes to anaerobic digestion,” says Jo. “Fresh ingredients no longer fit for purpose go to Heeley City Farm for pig feed or compost.”
Brez Barwise joined the team in 2018 as executive head chef and is a familiar face at Food Works’ bistro nights as well as at Sheffield Soup events, serving up the food between pitches.
Most recently Food Works made it on to the national stage as an index nominee on the UK Social Entrepreneur Index and Jo says there’s more to follow this year.
“Food Works will register as an independent charity in 2019 and will continue to follow circular economy principles in all that it does.
“Look out for big news regarding a long-term venue coming soon and a new visual identity, too!”