Save 60 each month with the stop food waste challenge

Westmeath County Council is challenging Westmeath householders to reduce their food waste by a quarter with the Stop Food Waste Challenge.

This will start those taking up the challenge on the road to less food waste and saving as much as €60 each month.

Ruth Maxwell of the Environment Department, who will be running the challenge, said: “We all waste food. It can’t be helped – plans change, we prepare too much, leftovers go off in the fridge, we forget about the food in the bottom of the freezer...

“As wasting food happens for different reasons there will be different ways for each of us to change how we do things to reduce our food waste and save ourselves money.”

The challenge will involve four or five one-hour meetings in October and November. It will involve eight to 12 householders working together to reduce their food waste, save money and have some fun while doing so. The meetings will be held in halls, committee rooms – somewhere central to the group taking on the challenge.

The topics covered will be:
• Awareness of what food is being wasted.
• The importance of proper planning of meals and shopping lists
• Smarter shopping to ensure that you don’t waste your hard earned money on food that you don’t really need
• Proper storage of food to make the most of what you have bought
• New ways of cooking, serving and reusing the food that you have in your home
• How to deal with the unavoidable food waste we do generate and the many methods of home composting.

Ms Maxwell said: “Working through this challenge we hope that the group can reduce their food waste, save money and have some fun and enjoy tasty meals on the way.”

If you want to come together and form a group of eight to 12 families, please put yourselves forward for the challenge.

“The challenge is one that could be taken up by a Tidy Towns group under the Sustainable Waste and Resource Management category. In the recent tidy towns results this is the lowest scoring category with points received ranging from six to 16 points out of a total mark of 50 points for the category.”

To put yourself forward for the challenge, contact Ruth Maxwell, Environment Dept, Westmeath County Council; 044 93 32125 or email: