A charity is on a mission to end food waste in Hastings by giving supermarkets’ surplus supplies and donations from the public to those in need.
Dom’s FOOD Mission collects tonnes of food that would otherwise be thrown out by stores and provides meals for the homeless and hungry children.
Dom Warren set up the project 20 months ago with his wife Alex and it has gone from strength to strength, feeding more than 1,000 people a month.
“It still blows my mind how much perfectly good food supermarkets throw away,” Dom said.
“We dropped some food to a children’s centre in Ore the other day and these kids had never seen a cherry before, we have kids in our town going hungry, it just blows my mind. They are right on our doorstep.
“We do a great job and it’s all under people’s noses.
“Last week we fed 22 children in two days and that for me is why we started this up.”
The couple started with a Facebook group of 50 people, collecting donations in car parks every so often, and now they boast two vans, a team of volunteers and partnerships with most supermarkets in the town.
As well as giving the long-lasting foodstuffs to charities and children’s centres, Dom’s FOOD Mission also makes hot meals out of the perishable goods to feed the homeless twice a week.
Homeless charity Seaview works closely with them by using their donations in the kitchen to make meals or in its tea bar for people to take.
Seaview’s chief officer Annie Whelan said the partnership helps people take the next step to progressing their situations.
One of the first supermarkets to get involved with Dom was Asda in St Leonards, letting him collect donations from shoppers and promoting events.
Asda’s community champion Wendy Border said as soon as she met Dom she knew he would be successful and was happy to help him.
“The first time he came in he went away with five or six trolleys worth of donations, it was amazing,” she said.
“What’s so amazing is the amount of work he puts in and his enthusiasm is really addictive.”
M&S in Priory Meadow has been working with Dom’s Food Mission to ensure unsold food from the store is put to the best possible use by redistributing it to people that can benefit from it.
The store provides unsold food on a daily basis to the charity and also donated festive goods at Christmas, helping members of the community to enjoy a delicious Christmas dinner.
Store manager Dan Moss said: “Dom’s Food Mission does a fantastic job supporting people in the local community.
“My colleagues saw the food redistribution scheme as a great opportunity for us to work closely with Dom’s Food Mission and we have built a fantastic relationship with the charity team.
“We work hard to reduce food waste in our store and it’s great to see any surplus being used to support such a good initiative in Hastings.”
Dom is always welcome to more donations and volunteers. For more information about the charity, visit www.domsfoodmission.com.
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