Electric vehicles now deliver surplus food to vulnerable residents in Milton Keynes

    Environmental charity Hubbub will use fleets of electric bikes and vans to redistribute surplus food from retailers, helping to tackle increased food insecurity.

    The charity hopes to deliver hundreds of parcels per week. Recent research from the charity found that nearly 1 in 5 people in the UK are concerned about access to free food during lockdown, such as that from food banks and community fridges.

    Community fridges in Milton Keynes have been delivering food packs since the beginning of lockdown to those who are struggling to access food. And now, the Hubbub team has been awarded a fleet of e-bikes and an electric van to distribute food to vulnerable households via these fridges.

    Kanahaya Alam, Community Fridge Network Manager at Hubbub, said: “We know from our recent State of the Nation’s Plate report that a significant number of people are concerned about accessing free food during lockdown.

    "Yet millions of pounds worth of food is wasted every year in the UK. Community fridges already play an important part in tackling this, and our ambition is that Food Connect will help retailers distribute surplus food straight to those who need it, whilst supporting the need for cleaner air.”

    Research released recently by Hubbub found that 62% of Brits have noticed cleaner air as a result of lockdown and they would like to see this continue long-term. Electric vehicles were also found to be one of the most popular forms of transport for government investment. 

    Cllr Jenny Marklew, Cabinet Member for Sustainability at Milton Keynes Council, added: “We are committed to new and innovative ways to contribute towards our ambition of becoming carbon neutral by 2030. E-cargo bikes are such a fantastic way to help us achieve this, meaning the council staff, social enterprises and local businesses are all able to play a part in reducing our impact on the environment."

    Following the pilot, Hubbub’s ambition is to roll out Food Connect to other parts of country, connecting community fridges and local retailers. Businesses and organisations interested in supporting and collaborating in the next phase should visit www.foodconnect.io.

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