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FoodCycle, the charity that aims to make food poverty, loneliness, and food waste a thing of the past for every community, is launching a national campaign to showcase the wide range of skills their volunteers gain when signing up. The charity, who has seen a 59% increase in guests coming to experience their weekly community meals, are hoping to entice more people to give up a few hours a week to meet the growing demand.

FoodCycle volunteer, Paul says: “Because of FoodCycle, I’ve found I enjoy cooking and being in the kitchen environment and it’s something I’d love to do as proper paid work. Being at FoodCycle every week helps to show that I am interested in catering, that I am reliable, can work with other people and that I am committed, so it’s really changed things for me.”

Why FoodCycle?

Volunteering with FoodCycle doesn’t just enrich the social lives and mental well-being of those that sign up but can enhance their CVs too. Becoming a FoodCycle volunteer can help to build confidence for those looking to enter the workplace, those returning to jobs or hoping to take on a new career. Skills gained by volunteering include leadership, time management, empathy and understanding, communication, problem-solving, culinary skills and teamwork. Not only will volunteers enhance their social skills by meeting people from all backgrounds and walks of life, but FoodCycle volunteers also have access to training modules including Food Safety Level 2, Allergens, Conflict Management, Nutrition, and Safeguarding.

Abs, a volunteer at FoodCycle Walthamstow says: “Working with FoodCycle has changed my perspective of the world. It has given me the opportunity to work alongside people that I would never be exposed to in my normal life, and this has opened my eyes. FoodCycle is a safe space with a welcoming, inclusive, and non-judgmental environment that provides an opportunity for someone like me to give back to those who need a bit more support. I don’t think I’ve changed as a person, but volunteering at FoodCycle has helped me feel more connected to my community. It’s a grounding experience that is nourishing for both volunteers and guests, regardless of their situation or background.”

Want to Make a Difference?

For those who are passionate about making an impact in their communities, tackling the UK’s growing issue with food waste or helping to create a society where no one is hungry or lonely, FoodCycle has plenty to offer. Week in, week out, thousands of volunteers across the country transform surplus food into healthy, delicious meals for anyone that needs them, no questions asked. They learn creative ways on how to reduce food waste, nourish communities and connect with people in their community they might never have had the chance to speak to.

FoodCycle volunteer roles are open to anyone who has some time to spare, and the charity are appealing to anyone with a bit of enthusiasm to get involved. Local volunteers will get to experience the ‘FoodCycle magic’ – transforming surplus food into delicious vegetarian dishes alongside a friendly chat to anyone in the community who fancies coming along.

FoodCycle Milton Keynes volunteer Manuela says: “I was always into sustainability anyway, but being at FoodCycle has made me much more conscious of the issue of food waste. We’re so lucky to have access to supermarkets in this country and before I would have taken that for granted and thrown stuff away without even thinking about it. Having spent months making food from ingredients which would have ended up in the bin, I’ve realized how creative you can be and how easy it is to make a difference when it comes to food waste.”

FoodCycle is looking to recruit new volunteers and Project Leaders across their 76 Projects in England and Wales. Flexible volunteer roles come without a minimum time commitment and can fit a range of skills. Whether you’re a food waste warrior, a novice in the kitchen, a university student with a passion for cooking, a retiree wanting to make new friends, a boss tea-maker or a born waiter bursting to chat with guests, FoodCycle has a place at the table for everyone.

Charlie, a FoodCycle Leeds volunteer says: “My favourite thing is getting to feed people. Cooking is a big hobby and a very big passion, and it makes me happy. I’m also a feeder – I look after people and show them that I love them by having people over and cooking for them. Getting to do that for the community and for people that wouldn’t be able to do that for themselves, whether it’s because of costing or not being able to go out and enjoy a nice meal, makes cooking at FoodCycle feel even more special.”

When asked what motivates them to show up, 95% FoodCycle volunteers want to help reduce food poverty, 82% want to help strengthen their local community, 88% can’t stand food waste, 78% want to help tackle loneliness; and 69% to meet new people.

FoodCycle Head of Programmes, Sophie Tebbetts says:” By dedicating just a few hours of your time to volunteer with us, you can help people in your community get access to a cooked, nutritious meal.⁠ It’s not only our guests that benefit from the weekly Community Meals and Check-in and Chat calls, volunteering has a really positive impact for those giving their time too, with 87% of FoodCycle volunteers saying they have met people from different backgrounds and 61% saying that it has given their lives a new sense of purpose. Please join us at your local project this winter and help us break the cycle of hunger. Once you witness the immense difference it makes in people’s lives, you won’t regret it!”

Without volunteers, FoodCycle cannot provide a vital service to the community who have come to rely on the chance to sit down to a free, three-course meal every week.

To sign up as a volunteer or for more information on FoodCycle visit