Church leader saves food from waste by sharing it with people out of his van


A church leader is coordinating collections of unused fresh and chilled food to help reduce family food waste in his city.
David in the cab of the foodshare van outside The Bishop's Palace, Hereford Diocese of Hereford

David Bland, Intergenerational Missioner in the Diocese of Hereford, began the project after seeing products being put straight into the bin without ever being sold. 

St Martin’s FoodShare now provides drop-offs three times a week for between 150-200 people.

“It began with collecting and distributing a couple of trays of fresh eggs in the summer of 2020 and has rapidly grown into a food share three times a week,” David said. 

“The food share is slightly different to food banks because it is open to absolutely anyone whether they are facing a crisis or not. 

“We don't ask any questions about their circumstances and what we have to offer varies from week to week. 

“While foodbanks give people enough food to meet needs for a few days in a crisis, the food share is a top up to any food they purchase that helps out lots of people.

“We see it as a way to bless our local community.”

Local authorities and civic groups have celebrated David’s initiative and helped him purchase a food delivery van. 

As a pastor, David tries to deliver all the food himself and builds relationships with families.

Food waste can be part of people’s individual carbon footprint and reducing it can be a helpful step towards our net zero carbon by 2030 target. 

More information: 

  • Supermarkets including the Co-op, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Tesco, Aldi, and Morrisons. The usual amount of food collected is 350kg a week.  
  • The van was paid through funding provided by Herefordshire Council. This was part of the Post COVID Personal, and Community Resilience Funding administered by Herefordshire Community Foundation.
  • The project has also received funding from Sainsbury's, Aldi, Arnold Clark, and individual donors.