Food for thought - Meet our food-loving waste-hating Smart Living Champions!

Did you know that Hampshire has an active network of volunteers working to help residents reduce the amount of food they throw away?

Nov 10 2016

Linda with staff member Mike at the New Forest Show

The Smart Living Champions scheme has been up and running for just over a year and currently has 27 volunteers who are passionate about helping people save time and money by reducing the amount of food waste they produce.

Since the start of the scheme the Champions have attended more than 50 events from the Aldershot Victoria Day Parade to the New Milton Food Festival. They’ve spoken to around 2,800 people giving hints, tips and advice on everything from the best place to store eggs, how to perk up limp celery, ideas for tasty meals made from leftovers and how to achieve the perfect mix for compost!

Mark at last year’s Andover Christmas market

I really enjoy being a Champion, for me, it’s another way to get involved in my community and I’ve met so many interesting people.

It's great to be part of a network of like minded people and doing events together is great fun.  I’ve made new friends through volunteering and have learnt new things whilst also being able to use some of my previous working knowledge as a food scientist.

Linda with staff member Mike at the New Forest Show

One of the most recent highlights for me was ‘starring’ in one of the Food for Thought films.  Working with another Champion Tony, who’s a chef, we cooked a meal using just leftovers and store cupboard staples.  Being filmed was quite an experience. I didn’t realise how much equipment there would be, or how many different takes would be needed.  We had great fun though, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how Hampshire residents are inspired by the films.

As well as going to events, they also write articles for local newsletters, arrange stands at local libraries, run cookery lessons for students, and give talks to community groups. They aren’t afraid to be creative either, be it taking part in compost bin trials or inventing crazy composting games for children!

The Food for Thought films, along with a whole host of information on ways to make the most of your time and money, are available on our Smart Living webpages. Tempting recipes include bread and butter pudding and a quick and easy omelette. Check out the website to see what you could do with your leftovers and cupboard staples.

Want to know more? You can also book a talk for your local community group by one of our Champions or volunteer to become a Champion yourself! Contact waste.prevention@hants.gov.uk for more information.

Tony on set filming the Food for Thought videos