Cornwall Food Action – Too Good to Waste!

Too Good to Waste!

One of the big issues of our time is the huge amount of surplus food going to waste along with its associated heavy carbon footprint. The reasons are many and varied – a significant one being that the systems are not in place to collect and redistribute unwanted edible food for community benefit.

The CFA is addressing this issue head on.

What is the CFA?

Cornwall Food Action is a small group of dedicated volunteers based in Bodmin, who collect surplus food from food producers and retailers for distribution to around 60 organisations across Cornwall, who can then make use of this resource to help their clients.

They specialise in mostly frozen, dried or tinned food – items which are long-dated. This is because they need to supply individual areas with deliveries which can last at least 3-4 weeks, to free up time to focus on other areas.

“End of day” left-overs from retailers usually have a short shelf life and the cost of travel and time normally rule out these collections, unless there is a volunteer local to a specific area and willing to take on this task.

Which Groups benefit?

Many non-profit-making groups including day-care centres, church groups, homelessness charities, refuges, foodbanks, community kitchens and other groups working with vulnerable clients and people in crisis.

Cafe Chaos in Truro at the top of Tregolls Road and the Falmouth/Penryn Foodbank are good examples.

How is the CFA funded?

The CFA is a charity. It collects and redistributes around £50,000 worth of food per annum, which otherwise would go to waste. It costs about £6000 a year to run with most going to renting storage space and helping with travel expenses.

They rely heavily on donations from groups they supply or from their supporters.

Can you help?

Donations and sponsorship are most welcome to support their excellent work, and can be made via, or by contacting  Anthony Weight (co-ordinator) via email at for more details.

The CFA is also keen to hear from any group who could benefit from their service, or of potential suppliers of donated food in sufficient quantities which justify a collection.

Surplus food? Too good to waste!

(this article first appeared in the St. Feock Parish Magazine and was adapted from original content by Phil Pearce of Transition Falmouth)

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