Hello, my name is Heather McClure, I work with the Aber Food Surplus team in Aberystwyth to redistribute food waste in our area.
The team is dedicated, imaginative and ambitious, and working together enables the project to explore new ways of reducing the impact of food waste, tackling the root cause of the problem, and enjoying food.
We joined renew to learn from other community groups about new actions we can encourage our community to take, and to share our learning about how we are making a difference to our food system and community in Aberystwyth.
Why are you drawn to this type of work?
During my Masters course at University I wanted to take action to support a more resilient and sovereign food system. Alongside other environmental activists we founded the sustainability society and curious engagement with supermarkets revealed a food waste problem, and it has not gone away.
My role supports the organisation to dynamically explore new ways to lead by example, showcase alternative climate action and community wellbeing solutions, and ensuring we have a strategic fit in working towards meeting the need to build resilient food systems and the needs of our community.
I have been working with food waste for nearly 4 years and share knowledge and training with staff and volunteer teams to enable community action on food surplus redistribution. As volunteers, community groups and individuals engage with the project, I support them to get involved in a way that meets their needs, such as supporting access to resources and information for research, hosting events, collaboration, and exploring new opportunities with the teams.
What is your vision for your area by 2050?
By 2050 Aberystwyth community have been experimenting with alternative approaches to a more circular, resilient and local food system. The expansion of permaculture principles and biotech solutions have enabled more people to bring their skills and interests to food production, and this has increased access, interest and participation in getting healthy food for everyone.
Individuals, community groups and businesses have more opportunity to participate in the local food system and support more sustainable options that provide fair rewards to farmers and food producers. More people understand where their food comes from and this has provided inspiration for a growing local food manufacturing sector that creates healthy and sustainable snacks, meals and ingredients. The energy and pride that this has given the community has encouraged more community events, discussions, and platforms of innovation and resilience. Other community groups have also set up to create local energy schemes, and car share schemes to reduce pollution ! Artists and musicians have taken over the town to celebrate! We are healthy, we are strong.