A Newcastle restaurant is cooking up a lunchtime feast to raise awareness of food poverty and food waste issues in our region, and to provide training opportunities for vulnerable people ready to move on with their lives.
Blackfriars Restaurant is joining forces with charity Changing Lives and their social enterprise, FareShare NE, a food re-distribution company, to invite local diners to enjoy a three course lunch in Blackfriars’ medieval Banquet Hall on Friday, October 16, with all proceeds going directly to Fareshare NE.
This is the third year running that Blackfriars has organised a fundraising banquet for the charity. Past events have proved to be sell-out successes, raising more than £2000 to date, so tickets are expected to be snapped up quickly for the 2015 event.
The Blackfriars team will once again be working with six trainee chefs from Changing Lives’ Employment Service who have all experienced homelessness and related issues at some stage, and whose lives have been touched by their involvement with the charity.
The chefs will explore cooking techniques and menu ideas to create a three course feast for guests, using delicious in-date food presented to them by Fareshare NE, which would otherwise have gone to landfill. Tickets can be booked through: www.blackfriarsrestaurant.co.uk at £25 per person, and half price for children.
In the North East alone, FareShare received 223 tonnes of in-date food in the last year from the food industry, 85% of which was surplus and would have otherwise gone to landfill. The good quality surplus food, donated by retailers and producers, is re-distributed to over 70 community groups. providing food for around 2,600 vulnerable people each week.
Andy Hook, owner of Blackfriars Restaurant, said: “We’re really looking forward to our third year of working with Changing Lives’ Fareshare NE and the new crop of trainees to demonstrate how perfectly good, well within-date food can be used to create a wonderful banquet fit for everyone to enjoy, instead of needlessly being sent to landfill.
“We’re sure that the experience will also bolster the trainees’ interest in the catering industry and will help to boost their CVs – so we’re delighted to provide this practical, informative training for them, whilst raising funds to help Fareshare NE continue their invaluable work.
“In 2013 and 2014, tickets sold out quickly and both events were a huge success, so we’re keen to keep the momentum going for the 2015 banquet. We’d encourage people to book up quickly to secure places – there won’t be a better, tastier meal anywhere else in the city that day, and it’s all in aid of a great cause.”
Michael Shields, general manager of Fareshare NE, said: “Events like these are immensely important in helping us to promote our vital work and we’re very grateful to Andy and the rest of the team at Blackfriars for hosting, for the third time, what is set to be a fantastic banquet. The trainees are very grateful for the opportunity too and we’re hoping it will inspire and give them confidence to gain employment within the food industry.
“The need for our services sadly continues to grow each month. Projects such as food banks, hostels, day centres, women’s refuges and after school clubs across the region receive good quality food supplies from our social enterprise. We are always looking for more food suppliers to support the scheme as well as people and organisations to sponsor a project to receive emergency food parcels. We’d love to hear from anyone who is interested in knowing more and supporting our work.”
Blackfriars Restaurant, Friars Street, Newcastle, NE1 4XN
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