Learning about how much food is wasted in Singapore and how to conserve and recycle it so that it is still used. Collecting this food as well.
I participated in a volunteer group led by Cristine and other practitioners that approaches shopkeepers and asks them to give vegetables and fruits that they no longer want. This food hunt was done ta Pasir Panjang at late morning, while food producers were preparing the food they were planning on selling for the day. The centre was filled with people, everyone was constantly moving from place to place and the entire building smelled of fish.
- Identification Cards
- Large Boxes and bags
- Delivery trucks
- Closed toed shoes
The experience began with an information session, where we all explained the dos and don’ts of interacting with vendors and the businesses. There was language that we had to adhere to in order to be more persuasive, and some overall tips to make the experience go by more smoothly. It was explained that often vendors would not sell food products that looked imperfect, either too small or too large or if they were bruised or did not fit specific standards.
We were each assigned to teams that focused on different food groups — some for vegetables and some for fruits. I met my team leader as part of the vegetable group. There was also a communications coordinator that was responsible for letting the rest of the team know about our progress, meeting places, and keep us on time. The entire collection period couldn’t last more than an hour and a half, so someone had to be keeping us on track.
We brought a large trolley and began approaching owners and vendors by asking if they had any food they wanted to give away that they did not plan on selling. Immediately vendors began giving us massive quantities of vegetables that appeared in perfectly eatable besides not looking standard.
Store owners were friendly, especially because many recognized the organization and understood what was needed. Some even helped stack boxes for us despite being very busy planning for the day’s work.
PAIN POINT: We would quickly fill up the capacity of our trolly and have to return to the truck to unload and then return to collect more.
At the end of the collection process, we returned to the area where the loading truck was and debriefed our session. There were so many products collected, all received for free and many in great condition! Our group could now select the products to bring home for ourselves, and the rest would be used to provide for charities or the poor.