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Putting London’s Spare Food to Work

Why shouldn’t day-old pastries help to educate low-income kids? That’s the concept behind DayOld Eats, an enterprise co-founded in London by Josephine Liang (China, Mahindra UWC, Colorado College ’16). “She is part of a growing trend of food redistribution across the UK and the British Isles, seeking to remedy the estimated 10 million tons of food and drink wasted in the UK every year,” Colby Magazine reported last fall.

From bakeries in and around London, Josephine, her business partner Michael Scott, and some 360 volunteers collect day-old breads and pastries — “from brownies to cinnamon rolls to artisan loaves of bread,” says the DayOld Eats website. Within a day, they resell the baked goods “through treat boxes, office pop-ups, and event catering.”

Proceeds are donated to Magic Breakfast, which provides free breakfasts to students who qualify for free lunch in area schools. “It’s a little like Robin Hood,” Josephine told the college magazine.

The organization’s next step has been to develop recipe boxes, filled with surplus or donated produce, and containing shared family recipes improved by a nutritionist. “We will be distributing the boxes in schools and community centers, codesigning and cocreating the boxes with local schoolchildren, artists, and residents,” Josephine writes. “The building of the boxes itself is part of the project.

“There are some cool things that we are looking to develop in the next few years, including alcohol brewed with surplus baked goods, and pasta made from surplus bread,” she adds. “If any alumni are interested in the projects let me know. We are always on the lookout for passionate people to change the food system!”