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Posted on Apr 20, 2017 in Blog, Food Waste, General News

Food Rescue Ballyclough generates funds for local school!

Food Rescue


On April 4th, the duo behind We Make Do held a Food Rescue event in Ballyclough, Cork. Here they share their experiences of the event.

As a small nation, we generate two tonnes of food waste every minute, yet globally one person in every eight go hungry. Do we realise that land 200 times the size of Ireland is used to grow food that is just thrown away? Amazing, when you consider the efforts that go into the use of chemicals and industrial agriculture methods to boost production. Perhaps if we stopped throwing away so much of our food, we would actually have enough to feed everyone…?

We (We Make Do) wanted to do something to highlight and tackle this problem, so here we share our experience of hosting our very first Food Rescue event.

The story began months earlier, as we started paying attention to our plastic waste and, as one thing led to another, we began to become concerned at the amount of food waste we were generating at home. With 3 kids, this can easily spiral out of control!

Mrs Makedo recently became chairperson on the local primary school parents committee of the school which our eldest girl attends. The main objective of this committee is to raise funds for the school. Traditional routes for fundraising include targeting businesses for raffle prizes, asking locals to purchase raffle tickets and encouraging benevolent churchgoers to donate. These tried-and-tested methods are still useful but somewhat stale, and there’s nothing like a new approach to shake things up in the fundraising department!

Naturally, these two projects, fundraising and food waste, converged in what seemed like a perfect marriage. We would host a Food Rescue event to raise some funds for the school – EUREKA!

Food Rescue is an initiative of Voice Ireland which came about as a response to the huge amount of food waste generated in Ireland and globally. One of the reasons why such massive quantities of food waste exist is because food sellers are obliged to remove from their shelves produce that is beyond the best-before date, but which is still perfectly fit for consumption (best before is only an indicator of quality, not the safety of the food). Similarly, funny looking veggies that are deemed too ugly to sell can be rescued from the bin. Organizing an event where this food is rescued and used to cook up a tasty meal and bring people together to share it is known as ‘Food Rescue’, and its purpose is to highlight the issue of food waste while using up some fine yet unloved produce to demonstrate it.

Mrs Wemakedo worked with Voice Ireland and put in several weeks of planning for the event which was held in our local community Hall on April 4th. A local chef from Longueville House was recruited to do the food preparation before the event, and cooked up a storm with food kindly donated by FoodCloud. We even spent a few evenings hand-painting some signs for advertising!Handpainted poster

To add some variety to the event we included a viewing of the movie ‘Just Eat It’, a very entertaining documentary about a couple who opted to live on waste food for 6 months. Over that period, they spent just $200 on food and rescued approx. $20,000 from dumpsters. It has some very funny moments and is well worth a watch! We had a great response to this and people were very happy to sit through the 50 minute version.


We also invited local composting expert Donal O’Leary from Stop Food Waste along to talk to people about how to compost food waste in order to use it as fertiliser in your garden.

A host of super volunteers cooked cakes, provided tea/coffee to accompany the (rescued) main course and dessert and helped out with serving and clearing up. With an €8 charge on the door, the night attracted 80 or so guests and €600 euros was raised to help the school. We even had 2 couples attending who wanted to organize their own Food Rescue events!

All in all, the night was a great success 🙂

This idea has huge potential and with this first trial run, the hope is to make it an annual event. Having seen how it all works and the excellent message it gives, we would hope to go much further with the rescued food on offer in future.

We were so busy on the night that we only took 1 picture. Here it is!

Donal O'Leary during his composting demonstration

Donal O’Leary during his composting demonstration

And if you’d like to organize your own Food Rescue, simply contact VOICE and they’ll send you everything you need to get started!