Student volunteers help feed the 5,000

Student volunteers helped turn unwanted supermarket food into free hot meals for thousands of Portsmouth residents.

The Feeding the 5,000 event, organised by Portsmouth Food Partnership, saw about 15 students join a huge undertaking to prepare and serve 5,000 meals in Guildhall Square as part of a bid to highlight global food waste.

All the food used was from supermarkets and producers who would otherwise have thrown it away.

The volunteers spent two-and-a-half hours chopping vegetables at Eldon Building on Tuesday night before helping to staff the city centre event yesterday.

Among those taking part from the University was Daniel Morris, who collected pledges from people joining the call for a reduction in food waste.

The second-year geology student said: “I got involved after seeing an appeal for volunteers on Facebook. As well as looking good on your CV, volunteering is a great way of giving something back to the community, and this is an issue I feel quite passionately about.

“If global food waste was a country, it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases behind China and the USA.”

Portsmouth Food Partnership is an organisation working to promote healthy and sustainable food and works with business and public sector organisations, including the University, across the city.

Praising the student volunteers’ contribution, Partnership coordinator Megan Saunders said: “They have been a great help, doing everything from chopping vegetables and providing bunting to photographing the event and building ballot boxes for us.”

Student volunteer Daniel Morris - and friends - at the Feeding the 5,000 event in Guildhall Square.

Student volunteer Daniel Morris – and friends – at the Feeding the 5,000 event in Guildhall Square.

Waqar Younas, president of the University’s student-led Volunteering In Portsmouth group, commented: “Volunteering is great way to learn, develop and have fun all at the same time. This year, we’ve had more students than ever wanting to get involved in the Portsmouth community.

“It’s great to see students playing such a key role in tackling wider issues like homelessness, food poverty and food waste.”

To find out more about volunteering opportunities, visit www.upsu.net/volunteering or email vip@upsu.net.

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