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Posted on Apr 7, 2017 in Blog, Food Waste, General News, Waste

Food Rescue at the 5 Lamps Arts Festival!


On Saturday 1st April, VOICE history was made as for the first time ever, our Food Rescue was brought to the 5 Lamps Arts Festival.

For two hours on a rainy April Fools Day, a bustling atmosphere filled the hall of SWAN Youth Services on Dunne Street, Dublin 1. Both food waste fanatics and unassuming but drenched members of the public alike entered the hall and were greeted with the rich smell of coffee. However, this was not your typical coffee station…! Claudia Tormey (pictured) designed a ‘Coffee Upcycling’ station with old ground coffee donated by Upside Coffee Roastery, located just a short walk from the 5 Lamps.

Claudia's Coffee Upcycling!

Coffee Upcycling!

The many uses of old coffee beans

Flyers we handed out to attendees!

Claudia resolutely remained at her station throughout the duration of the event as she was bombarded with people fascinated by her DIY creations. From face masks, to body scrubs, candles to fertiliser – Claudia spread the word that your daily perk-me-up can do lots more than just provide a hit of caffeine. So if you have old coffee beans, then check out Claudia’s tips (click on the picture) for how to make those beans bear fruit!

In the other corner of the hall, we had Connect the Dots hosting an ‘Ask & Offer’ table allowing for personal connection and engagement with the audience on the day. On the wall to the left of their table, attendees stuck their ‘offer’, something that they are willing and ready to share with others. Here we had offers including baking classes, compost, rosemary herbs in abundance, web development, and climate change workshops from an established Dublin-based environmental group.

On the right we had a mélange of snippets showing what people requested from parties willing to share, for example a carpenter, lots of footballs, a music teacher for a 7 year old and a website developer (can you already spot the potential match?). Needless to say Connect the Dots will skill-match many members of Dublin’s fair city!

Ask and Offer!


Upstairs we showed ‘Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story‘ on the big screen, and the feedback on that documentary has been excellent. Throughout the event, we were treated to the musical talents of bands and choirs from the 5 Lamps area which helped to create a wonderful atmosphere as well as give attendees something to watch while they ate their fill.



The stage was directly in front of our ‘Freebies table’ which was at the beginning of the day stacked high with goodies ranging from Happy Pear chia bars, chocolate coins, chocolate Santas, a variety of crisps, juice and oatcakes. This meant that festival-goers could have a snack while they watched the music, and by the end of the event almost all of the tens of boxes of free food save for one small box was emptied, something we could not have imagined would happen at the beginning of the afternoon.

And then of course the main event…the food rescue!

Our cous cous chefs!

Our cous cous chefs!

The five talented chefs, Izak, Kamel, Stewart, Mary & Adrian cooked up a storm. From 4pm we had cooking demonstrations on how to cook ous cous, and everyone was treated to delicious tastings. Attendees were also lucky enough to receive warm banana bread straight from the oven, exactly what was needed on a wet day.

At 5pm we began the Ready Steady Cook-Off! Mary (the yellow banana) and Adrian (the green apple) battled it out in front of attentive food waste warriors. In the yellow corner, we saw Mary concoct a delicious dish with an oriental feel, using a mixture of nutritious vegetables, beans, rice and spices. In the green corner, Adrian used tens of carrots to create a delectable carrot soup. This cook-off was interspersed with a food waste quiz from VOICE, asking the audience questions such as, “How much food goes to waste globally every year? How much in Ireland? If food waste were a country, where would it rank on the scale of worst greenhouse gas emitters?”

Finally, after we had our fill of food and a chance to decide which chef gets our vote, the results were in. “And the winner is…it’s a tie!” Honestly 😉

Chef Mary - the yellow banana!

Chef Mary – the yellow banana!

Chef Adrian - the green apple!

Chef Adrian – the green apple!








It is incomprehensible to think that all of that food was close to ending up in the bin, where it would have contributed to landfill, emitted polluting gases, and been an insult to the 870 million people who go hungry around the world. The food was all perfectly good to eat, but just not up to supermarket standards. Fun and engaging events like this one clearly demonstrate to the public the scale of this global issue, and shows them how they can make a change locally.

A massive thanks to FoodCloud who donated the food for the event!

If you want to be kept updated on future Food Rescue events, sign up here!