Creative food sharing project aims to help Lambeth’s poorest residents

Creative food sharing project aims to help Lambeth's poorest residents

Last Saturday, the newly formed Impact Hub Brixton hosted an event tasked with finding ways to help Lambeth’s poorest residents by co-ordinating local food banks and exploring ways of reducing food waste.

Made In Lambeth event

Organised by Made in Lambeth, the event was a collaboration between Lambeth Council and the Best Before Project, and it looked at ways to set up an efficient, prototype Lambeth-wide food sharing platform.

Emerald Mosley (@goldtopgirl), one of our Brixton Buzz designers, went along to offer her skills at the event held in the basement of Lambeth Town Hall. Here’s her report:

Arriving  at the newly launched Impact Hub Brixton in the basement of Lambeth town hall, my hangover was swiftly seen off by a fruit salad and a banana porridge made by the Brixton People’s Kitchen.

They think “that sharing food with strangers is one of the nicest ways to spread happiness. And if the food has been saved from going to waste, it makes it even tastier.”

Tasting the reality of potential food waste turned into a delicious breakfast sets us all up nicely for tackling today’s brief: to create a prototype food sharing platform for local food charities.

Made In Lambeth event

There are many individual food charities, food banks, church groups and other local organisations in the borough and research conducted before this event highlighted the three main problems they face.

  • Problem 1: Too much food
    “I have been offered food which I have no space for, so I want to let ther charities know it’s available or find somewhere else to store it”
  • Problem 2: Not enough food
    “I am running out of (a specific kind of) food and need to locate it as soon as possible”
  • Problem 3: Unable to get food
    “I have been offered food which I need, but I require help to retrieve and transport it”

We initially split into three groups to address them – service design, online and marketing – according to our skills / interests. It was extremely useful to have members of active food surplus / waste food distribution projects making up part of the teams to contribute their experience.

Seeing a few familiar faces from previous Made in Lambeth events was good too; lovely to work with Steve T and Katie again! Steve’s enthusiasm and magic way with markers was very helpful to sketch out ideas…

Made In Lambeth event

Regrouping to share what we’d all come up with before lunch  – with practical actions outlined for the afternoon – it was  good time to move between groups and chat etc as invariably there is overlap between people and skills.

By this time, appetising smells were coming from the bike powered mobile kitchen!

I had been working with Ashley, Katherine, Steve and Ilana before lunch. In the afternoon we broke down the work into individual tasks; Katherine planning out the project and writing up tone of voice and copy, I worked on the typography and logo, and how that might be applied to promotional materials with Steve working on illustrations, colour palettes and the presentation we were to show to the group at 4pm.

Made In Lambeth event

Proposed logo (see more of the background process on my blog).
Made In Lambeth event

There was lots of other well thought out work that went on to address the service design aspect of the project, as well as some initial technical goes of making it happen, which I will add to here when I find it (get in touch if you took part!).

It was a fun, social and really productive day – we got a lot done in in the new 1 day format.  We got to check out the new Impact Hub Brixton and were superbly well fed by the Brixton People’s Kitchen gang!

Hanna from the Best Before Project seemed really enthused by what we’d done and promised to maintain the momentum of the project. I look forward to seeing what happens next…

More info
Edited to add Made in Lambeth write up of the day
Made in Lambeth Food Waste brief
Best Before Project
Made in Lambeth
Brixton People’s Kitchen
Impact Hub Brixton
Emerald Mosley portfolio
Emerald Mosley blog