Surplus food on the menu as community cafe tackles waste problem

Roundhouse Cafe in Dundee helping to divert some of the 26,000lbs of food waste generated in the city every year.

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Surplus food is being put back onto people’s plates at a new community cafe in Dundee.

The Roundhouse Cafe is helping to divert some of the 26,000lbs of food waste generated in the city every year.

Volunteers are also teaching people how to make nutritious meals at low-cost.

The soup and samosas on the menu at the opening of the new cafe were made from ingredients destined for landfill.

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Caroline Bentley, of the charity Signpost International, said: “We distribute meals through the foodbank, through food larders.

“We don’t actually get to meet and speak to the recipients of the food that we make, so that’s a big change for us and we really want to create a welcoming community space here, where people can come and enjoy good food, meet their neighbours and socialise.”

Almost a year ago, secondary pupils on a trade scheme began transforming the Roundhouse building in Whitfield for Signpost International.

It now provides a base for one of their missions, diverting food waste into much needed meals.

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They’ve been supplying local foodbanks for several months and have now branched out to open a cafe.

Volunteer Nick Toner said: “There can be some stigma around food poverty and we’re hoping to address that and make food accessible and enjoyable and healthy as well.”

Fellow volunteer Ann James added: “There are people in the community that are hungry for a variety of reasons.

“If we can take food that would be going to landfill and turn it into usable food for the community and begin to educate people on how you can make cheap nutritious food, it is actually quite achievable by all of us.”

The cafe also plans to offer cookery lessons.

And there’s a pay-it-forward scheme already in place where people can buy a meal or drink for a future visitor to enjoy at the Roundhouse.