Tackling North East food poverty with innovation

ediblegivingIt’s often said that hardship provides the spark for innovation so maybe that’s why these two food developments have come about in the North East just now.

During tough times, taking a fresh approach to people getting fed is something that has become as necessary as it is shameful for the UK in 2015.

I came across these two initiatives at an event held in County Durham to showcase local social entrepreneurs and they both attempt to answer that very real need in their local communities.

The first is EdibleGiving.org. The idea is to map all the places that those of us fortunate to have enough food can go to donate some of it for people who haven’t.

Developer Gregory Marler explains his thinking on the site.

I know a few local charities, but if I’m away from home where do I give the food, and what if local details change? I wanted to solve this by creating a UK-wide or international map, and I wanted different organisations to be able to use their own systems to keep the shared map updated.

It’s up and running and people are invited to help add more locations.

Logo-transparent1-e1428586248839Second is The Magic Hat Cafe, a series of pop-up eateries with a difference – the difference being that all the food served up would otherwise have been destined for the rubbish dump.

As well as helping cut down on food waste, the resulting food has to be an ever-changing menu to be able to cope with the available produce and the cafe leaves it up to the diner to decide how much to pay for the meal.

You can find out where Newcastle’s Magic Hat Cafe will be popping up next in the city at the events section of its website here.


Yorkshire Day launch of new food website out of Yorkshire

outofyorkshire.co.uk has launched today. It’s an expansion of the Leeds-based coffee and smoothie chain Out of the Woods which, the owners say, will offer British folk the opportunity to discover food and drink from independent suppliers across Yorkshire.

Out of the Woods opened its first shop on Water Lane in 2006 and after four years, Jon Baldwin and co-owner Ross Halliday, were able to open a second shop in Granary Wharf in 2010, where they offer people in the city healthy alternatives in a relaxed and natural environment.

Jon said: “Our customers have told us that they love the locally sourced produce available in our cafes and so the next logical step was to take this online and share these quality ingredients and products with everyone who shares our passion for great tasting food from local suppliers.

outofyorkshire.co.uk will also provide pre-prepared hampers for people that are looking to give the perfect gift to food lovers or Yorkshire expats.”

Suppliers stocked on the site will range from well-known sweet producer Farrah’s of Harrogate, to the up and coming Harrogate Preserves and Toftly Treats.

This new venture has been brought to life with the help of employee Chris Large who has a background in e-commerce and shared enthusiasm for local produce.

outofyorkshire.co.uk will also provide corporate packages for client gifts or hotels.

Products can be delivered to your home or office, or collected from Out of the Woods’ shop in Granary Wharf, Leeds.