Nearly 30 tons of unsold food were salvaged at Warsaw's markets. Seventy-six schools are taking part in the "School does not waste" project involving 43 foodsharing points operating in the city. Warsaw reduces food waste.
Collections at marketplaces
Only last weekend, the merchants collected 290 kg of food at the Mirowskie Market Halls. Also, 130 kg were gathered on Szembeka square, 127 kg in the Bemowo Marketplace, 60 kg in the market place at Rembielińska St. as well as 40 kg in the marketplaces of Egipska and Wolumen Streets.
This is the outcome of this year's collection of unsold food in the city's marketplaces. Warsaw merchants donated nearly 30 tons of food, mainly vegetables and fruit. The first educational activities on food waste at markets took place three years ago. Good practices are gaining popularity, thanks to which this year more than 90 shopkeepers were willing to hand over unsold food to volunteers, thus saving it from being thrown in the trash.
The largest quantity collected from April to early December was recorded at the Mirowskie Halls – 8,799 kg. Followed by: Wolumen – 5,901 kg, Szembeka square – 4,269 kg, Bemowo – 3,886 kg, Rembielińska – 2,717 kg, Egipska – 2,507 kg. A total of 216 food collection actions took place during this time.
Let's share food at the foodsharing points
In an action held in the runup to Christmas, Warsaw once again calls all residents to limit the amount of food they throw away. Posters plastered throughout Warsaw feature information on how these points work and where you can find the nearest spot.
Foodsharing points were created as a grassroots initiative. The assumption is that these places are taken care of by their users, which means both those who bring food and those who take it. The list of Warsaw foodsharing spots is continuously updated on the website warszawa 19115 and on the Warsaw geoportal. At present, there are 43 of them in the capital.
School does not waste food
Not wasting food can be taught from childhood. Since September, the "School does not waste" project has been implemented in 76 schools in Warsaw. In a series of five workshops, young people from grades 6-8, with the support of a nutrition education coach and a teacher, develop ways to reduce food waste at school. During a culinary workshop, they jointly prepare dishes made of vegetables and fruit that do not look attractive but are still fully nutritious. The project will be summarised in a report, which will include good practices shared by all schools. The action will continue in the next school year, and the Town Hall hopes that more schools and kindergartens will join the programme.
Food waste in homes is often fueled by a lack of ideas and culinary skills. Warsaw regularly organises cooking workshops for representatives of various groups. For the youngest ones, these are one in a series of classes conducted in primary schools and kindergartens as part of the "I know what I eat" campaign. In the last school year, 9,289 children took part in such activities.
At the same time, a series of meetings is being held for culinary club keepers who teach children how to cook. Warsaw teachers have the possibility to attend training meetings and use educational materials thanks to which they can set up and run culinary clubs for children in their workplaces. Both children and parents also had the opportunity to participate in workshops at the Ecopicnic, where dishes from the most often wasted products were prepared. Meanwhile, during a conference organised to mark World Food Day by the Federation of Polish Food Banks, the workshop "I know what I eat" was held for coordinators of Local Activity Spots, who organise various initiatives for Warsaw local communities in their spaces.
Studies on food waste
Learning about the shopping habits of Warsaw residents, the types of food typically wasted and the reasons for this phenomenon, is crucial for the introduction of effective solutions to counteract food waste. Research is being carried out, the results of which will provide this information and help to plan further activities for Warsaw that does not waste food.
As part of the fourth edition of the Warsaw City Hall's scholarship programme for doctoral students, one of the areas of the research project will be the prevention of food waste in Warsaw's educational institutions. On the basis of an analysis of food management in 50 schools and kindergartens as well as an analysis of constructive practices applied in Denmark, a code of good practices for Warsaw institutions will be prepared.