How to fight food waste

Picture: Disco Soup

Published: 21 Feb 2020

James Turner from Feedback tells us how we can inspire individuals and empower communities by hosting a surplus food feast.

In recent years awareness of the role food waste plays in our broken food system has become widespread. Alongside this, political and social instability have exacerbated food insecurity and isolated communities. Pascale Robinson from Feedback tells us “the ethos of a disco soup is that through chopping, chatting and cooking together, you show how important and easy it is to tackle food waste while creating a welcoming space for all.”

Kiran Chahal from People’s Kitchen, who are also leading the surplus supper revolution, explains how food waste feasts bring people together, “Some people come to chop and chat, others are great cooks, some like to wash dishes. Cooking and sharing dinner together breaks down barriers effortlessly.”

There is a joyful history of surplus food feasting across the UK. In particular at the weekly People’s Kitchen feasts at Passing Clouds in Dalston. From 2010 to 2015 the feasts were a central aspect of the vibrant community of chefs, musicians and activists - many seeds sown there went on to blossom into vital community projects.

It’s an exciting time in the world of community feasting - People’s Kitchen has returned to Hackney and they’re also set to open a new, permanent home in the Thames Barrier Park Café in Newham. So let’s save boullion’s of surplus food and party on.

How-to guides available at:

Want to get stuck in?

Feasts can come in all shapes and sizes but there will always be common elements that you will need in order to get cooking:

  1. A SURPLUS SUPPER: This couldn’t be simpler - visit your local supermarket, independent grocery outlet or wholesale market. More often than not, they will have surplus food and will let a friendly and sympathetic person take it.
  2. SOMEWHERE SOUPER: You can go big or small with this but think of places that may not be used every day of the week. A community centre, church hall, café or music venue, or even simply a barbecue in your back garden. Remember to take the hire cost into consideration as well as the equipment that comes with it.
  3. PARTY PEOPLE:  The most important ingredient of any disco soup - you’ll need a committed team of organisers who can help and some people to party with. Being as inclusive as possible, the party will reflect the social and cultural diversity of the area. There’ll be roles for everyone  everything from logistics to composting veg peelings.