Recycling help for homeless

9th March 2016

News, Student news

Wadham has stepped up its food waste recycling scheme by setting up a donation programme with The Gatehouse, a drop-in centre for Oxford’s homeless.

  • Head Chef Neil Mahon packs the cool-bag with food for The Gatehouse

    Head Chef Neil Mahon packs the cool-bag with food for The Gatehouse

  • Student Niamh McIntyre (2013, English) signs for the food...

  • ...and sets out for The Gatehouse

  • Arrival at The Gatehouse

  • The labelled food packages are set out for visitors to the drop-in centre.

Wadham students have long been volunteering at The Gatehouse in a scheme organised by Wadham Chaplain Wendy Wale. Early each evening groups of students visit the drop-in centre at St Giles Church on the Woodstock Road to make sandwiches.

Now, selected foods which do not get eaten by staff and students in College at lunchtime are transferred to special containers, kept chilled, then transported to the Gatehouse at 4pm daily to be served to the community there. A team of student volunteers, co-ordinated by Wendy Wale, take turns at making the 20 minute round trip to The Gatehouse with the cool bag each day to deliver the food.

Head Chef Neil Mahon and his kitchen team have been supportive of the scheme. “We carefully label the foods so that staff members at the Gatehouse are aware of potential allergy or dietary requirement issues and have developed a sign-out system for transferring the food so that the highest health and safety standards are met.”

A spokesman from The Gatehouse commented that the variety of food from Wadham has been extremely well received by the 80 – 90 homeless people who attend the drop-in centre each day, adding: “One man saw a tray of new potatoes and ate the whole lot in one go!”

Domestic Bursar Frances Lloyd who negotiated with Council health and safety authorities and the Gatehouse is delighted to see the scheme up and running. “Even with our meal booking system, portion control and food preference surveys, there is inevitably some food left over and it seemed a shame to see perfectly good food go to waste. It is wonderful that our students and staff are supporting such a worthwhile project.”

This project follows a rigorous recycling and food monitoring programme introduced to the College in 2015. More

  • Wadham students join volunteers to make sandwiches for homeless visitors to The Gatehouse

    Wadham students join volunteers to make sandwiches for homeless visitors to The Gatehouse

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