Queen Mary University London is the first in the capital to join Too Good To Go’s war on food waste. QMUL students can now collect great food from outlets at a reduced price just before closing time in order to save it from being thrown away, helping their pockets as well as helping the planet!
We caught up with Mo, manager of QMUL’s Village Shop site, to find out why sustainability is so important to the University and why they’ve joined forces with Too Good To Go.
Can you start by telling us a little bit about the food outlets you have on QMUL Campus?
We have four café and retail sites on Mile End campus, all within close proximity to one another.
What does good food mean to you?
Good food to me means food that tastes delicious, of course at a reasonable price!
Why did you choose to join Too Good To Go in the fight against food waste? What excites you most about the Too Good To Go project?
The start of term I had the role in trying to tackle and reduce food waste in our cafes and shops. Naturally there will be wastage of some sort, due to the risk of holding more stock to increase sales. So finding that stock level balance of ordering just enough sandwiches, salads, baguettes and wraps to last the day without running out or having too much was a difficult task. No one likes to waste food, especially when there are people in London finding it difficult to put food on their table. The Too Good To Go app gives people that option of buying a meal that is affordable, with the food being perfectly edible. Having this app in a University setting particularly excites me from a student perspective. Being a former student, balancing finances during studies was challenging, and TGTG app offers students to buy an inexpensive dinner or lunch in line with their weekly budget.
How important is it to you that QMUL is one to the first Universities to start working with Too Good To Go? Are you hoping other educational establishments follow suit?
For us as a Students Union our aim is to improve students’ lives, and I hope QMUL will be at the forefront and be used as an example for other educational establishments to follow suit and help students as well as staff tackle the problem of food waste.
How else do you manage your wastage on a day-to-day basis?
We were fortunate enough to work with Hackney night shelter, who provided breakfast, lunch and dinner meals to the homeless.
When people think about ‘waste’, they often think scraps off people’s plates – stuff that’s no good to be eaten. How do you think we can overcome this perception?
I think we can communicate and promote pictures of the good food that’s on offer, and try get some support from existing customers on their experience in using the app or similar initiatives to overcome this perception. Moreover, we would encourage everyone to come and give Too Good To Go as soon as they can and come and see for themselves!
Finally, what can TGTG customers expect when they order from one of the QMUL sites?
Good food! The suppliers we use are carefully sourced to make sure we are providing the best possible products to our customers. We have been trading with some suppliers for over 10 years, and they continuously improve their extensive menu to cater for customers tastes. We do a large range of halal, vegetarian and gluten free products.