Red Alimenta: volunteers against food waste and social inequity in Toledo
Red Alimenta is an organisation of volunteers that collects surplus food and delivers it to people in need. The network of volunteers in different neighbourhoods of the city collect excess prepared food from restaurants, schools or hospitals. Putting the food in containers, they carry it in refrigerated backpacks to the houses of families in need.
Their values are to take action against food waste by focusing on sustainability, social exclusion and inequality, using the simple principle of community solidarity. At the heart of the organisation is the goal to protect the environment.
The association collaborates with social services and partners with other associations in order to reach more people. In addition, they present their cause at schools to show children the importance of having responsible consumption habits. All citizens interested in mitigation of social inequality and improving societal sustainability are invited to join. The focus for Red Alimenta's activities is the city of Toledo.
Red Alimenta has achieved the following:
- In their first year, 2017, they contributed to reducing food waste by more than 1 tonne.
- In 2018, they contributed to a reduction in food waste of 5.5 tonnes.
- In 2019, they prevented more than 9 tonnes of food from going to waste.
- The Regional Environment Awards gave the organisation a special mention in 2019, and the Toledo Culture of Peace Forum awarded it the Social Commitment Award the same year.
- At the beginning of 2020, 48 families belonged to the organisation. Since Spaniards have been in lockdown due to Covid-19, the number of families has increased and by mid-2020 Red Alimenta comprised 64 families.