18 October 2022

Community House Ripon: Waste Not Wednesdays

Community House Ripon: Waste Not Wednesdays

Ripon Community House, based in Ripon, North Yorkshire, runs a fabulous community scheme called Waste Not Wednesdays and we chatted to Caroline Bentham to find out more about it…

What are Waste Not Wednesdays?

Caroline Bentham and her team collect surplus food from local retailers as well as community donations, and then create delicious, nutritious meals which are available to the local community on a Wednesday from 3-6pm. For £3 customers can then take 8 items, which could include anything from a box of cereal to a freshly prepared meal for the family. 

“Not only are we helping the local community, but we are also helping the planet by reducing food waste,” says Caroline. “We make all sorts of tasty meals, from roast dinners and curries to rice dishes and chilli con carne. We are currently inundated with fabulous local apples so there are lots of apple crumbles and chutneys. We use up leftover Easter eggs to make our famous ‘Chocolate Stuff’, surplus lemons make tangy lemon curd, and my Mum has just made 88 jars of delicious beetroot chutney! Steenbergs recently donated lots of their spice jars and we encourage people to bring empty tubs with them to fill up and reuse so that we are not buying unnecessary plastic.”

Top Tips

Here are a few top tips from Caroline for anyone trying to reduce food waste in their own homes:

  • Try to just buy what you need. This isn’t helped by supermarkets packaging things in larger quantities than needed.
  • If you do buy extra, then remember to pop it in the freezer for another day
  • Learning how to cook and making meals from scratch can often be cheaper and more efficient.
  • Keep an eye out for the yellow labelled products in the supermarkets. These often highlight products that are out of date that day so are much cheaper. But be careful not to buy more than you need!
  • Make Fridge Soup! Use leftover veg at the end of the week to make a tasty, nutritious soup.

Getting involved…. 

There is a fabulous local community of volunteers for both Waste Not Wednesdays and the other charitable work that Community House Ripon undertakes. There are people helping to peel and freeze apples to use in future crumbles, another team of people collecting the food from the supermarkets and then a different group on a Wednesday either cooking in the kitchen or serving. Caroline and her team cater for around 50 people each week and expect that number to increase over the winter so do get in touch with them if you are able to offer any help.

To find out more about Waste not Wednesday visit their Facebook page on https://www.facebook.com/RiponCommunityHouse/ or their website: http://www.riponcommunityhouse.co.uk/