Excess of food waste is an issue that has health, social, economic and ecological consequences; affecting all layers of society, from business to households. Previous research has estimated that approximately £722 million could be saved in the UK.
Food waste in our local authority needs to be understood in the broader food environment context. Previous engagement activities in Blackburn with Darwen have shown that residents in the borough, particularly those living in the most deprived areas, have to face structural and economic barriers to access the healthy food that they need to maintain a healthy and sustainable diet. There has also been a dramatic increase, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in the number of people who access food banks and food parcel schemes across the country. These findings seem to indicate a “food paradox” in the borough, with high levels of both, food poverty and food waste.
For this reason, it was important to gather the views of the residents in borough who are affected by both issues.