Food is for People, Not Landfill

For a while now, Spectrum’s service users have been the fortunate recipients of food distributions from two local organisations run by two utterly inspirational and dynamic ladies whose main aim is to stop good food from going to waste.

Gitty Ankers MBE is the Vice Chair of Cornwall Food Action, and Babs Rounsevell is the Director of The Chaos Group. The two organisations complement each other in their approach to food sourcing and redistributing, and they co-operate on many levels in doing so. Babs is a trustee of Cornwall Food Action while Gitty and her son, Adrian, volunteer for The Chaos Group!

Gitty Ankers, MBE

Cornwall Food Action prefers to receive food from wholesalers and large suppliers which has a longer shelf life – frozen and tinned food, eggs, long-lasting vegetables etc. This gives their volunteers more time in which to distribute it to over 130 voluntary service organisations and others. These include day care centres, homeless hostels etc. and it was through a St John’s church hall in Truro that Gitty got to know about Spectrum from our trustee, Barbara Moore. When distributing the food, they try to minimise journeys by making large deliveries that will last a month or so until they can deliver again. But fresher food needs to move more quickly, so much of it is delivered closer to home and more frequently, often with Babs’ help. As Gitty says, “We try to spread the love!”.

The Chaos Group works with supermarkets to re distribute surplus food that tends to have a shorter shelf life such as fresh items, bread, fruit and vegetables. They work with grass root and small organisations and regularly move large and varied amounts of produce sourced from commercial connections. In June the G7 Summit in St Ives had the group and its volunteers re distributing a huge amount of excess food from three police sites across Cornwall, with plenty of G7 goody bags coming to Spectrum.

Babs Rounsevell and Adrian Ankers (Gitty’s son)
collecting food for the Chaos Group from a G7 police hub in June 2021

‘Chaos’ stands for Community Helping all of Society and the group aspect is that the organisation consists of several like-minded partnerships that aim to guide and help people out of poverty and back into meaningful and productive roles in society. They help people to access training, redefine their abilities and look at transferable skills.

Together, Gitty and Babs, Cornwall Food Action and The Chaos Group, are setting a fine example of community action, responsibility towards the environment and co-operation with other similar organisations. Their contributions towards our service users’ wellbeing are much appreciated and enjoyed.

Since Covid began, there has been a huge trend amongst Cornish charitable organisations towards sharing aims, developing links and recognising that more progress is made from holding hands than from going your own way. Something that Gitty and Babs seem to have known all along.