LSE has a reputation as a corporate factory where all the students do is study and try to get internships. In this mini-series, we will try to focus on other societies and student groups who do good.

SAVE FOOD is a subset of FoodCycle, a society that helps feed people at risk of food poverty and isolation. Their goal? To collect excess foods from cafés around LSE and distribute it to the homeless.

I joined the group’s leader, Jakub Bokes, on a food run to witness first-hand the work that the group does. The café of the day is Pret. At closing, the store manager picks out the sandwiches and yoghurts that won’t last. He divides them into fish, vegetarian, and meat options.

Regularly, one would need to bring bags to take the food, but we have forgotten them so the manager kindly gives us a few take out bags. From a single café, we have picked up four bags of food. He asks me to think about how many bags of food would be thrown out from all the Prets alone across London and about how many cafés there are in London. He thinks that avoiding food waste goes hand in hand with making sure everyone has enough food.

We head down to Lincoln Inn’s Field where a stand is handing out bread and hot meals. Jakub explains to me that the sandwiches donated offer a nice alternative as they are pre-packaged and easy for the people to hold on to for eating at a later time.

Jakub estimates that SAVE FOOD has maybe a hundred dormant members but about thirty active members who go frequently. They collect from Café 54, Pret a Manger and Pure Café.

He tells me that he inherited the role from a graduating student. Because SAVE FOOD is still a small group, the logistics are messy, but he’s been working on it. I asked why a second-year law student would take on such a time-consuming role; he answers that it’s a great way to give back and connect with the local community.

The link to join can be found here. If you have any questions, suggestions, or would like to add a café to the SAVE FOOD network, email Jakub at j.bokes@lse.ac.uk.

Know of any societies or student groups that deserve more attention for the good they do? Let us know at flipside@thebeaverlse.co.uk

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