So that you can meet more of the people who run FoodHub 'behind the scenes', on the blog today we spoke to Rowan who was one of the founders of NFH and now his main role is as our Finance Director.
Hi Rowan, could you introduce yourself to us?
"I grew up in Lowestoft, and went to the UEA to study Accountancy and Finance between 2011 and 2014. I recently became an ACCA qualified accountant and specialise in cloud accounting and business apps. I am a big Norwich City fan and also play football for Southwold Town."
When did you become involved in FoodHub? "After university I started volunteering for Norwich FoodCycle as a hub leader and was amazed at the amount of food we would collect every Friday and wondered what was happening to it on every other day of the week.
When I found out it was going to waste I was really motivated to do something about it, particularly with so many people being unable to access the basic food they need to live.
I had made some friends and people interested in tackling the issues of food waste and food poverty through FoodCycle, so I set up a meeting to discuss what we could do to in Norwich and from there Norwich FoodHub was born! "
What is your role on the team? What does that look like day-to-day? "I was initially heavily involved in growing and coordinating our volunteer base, alongside general management of the collections and redistribution of food. However, now my main roles are making sure that the technology we use for booking collections is working, managing our payroll and accounts, and ensuring our data is organised and useable so we can communicate our impact."
How has FoodHub changed and grown since you founded it? "We’ve grown substantially since we started back in 2016 when we only collected from two Greggs stores - we’re now handling more than double the amount of food on average each month. That’s thanks to our increase in partnerships with supermarkets and our brilliant volunteers. Our systems have evolved to facilitate this growth - we use 10to8 booking system, Slack, G-Suite and various other apps to help us run as effectively as possible. We also have 2 part time staff and volunteer project leaders to keep things running smoothly. We’ve now collected and redistributed over 70 tonnes of food that would otherwise have been wasted!"
What would you hope that FoodHub can accomplish in the next stages of its journey? "I’d love for us to be able to handle more food, particularly larger deliveries from manufacturers/producers as this is where the bulk of food that is wasted is generated, but it’s difficult to get hold of because for that we need larger premises, more staff and obviously that means more money!"
FoodHub has grown so much since its inception, and that means more food being saved, and more people being fed. But, as Rowan says, that's all down to the amazing volunteers who pick up collections every week. Could you help us keep growing and fight food waste in the city? Sign up to join our team of volunteers today - just click here.