A CAMPAIGN group committed to reducing the amount of food wasted every year in Worcestershire has held its largest event yet.

The Worcestershire Gleaning Hub was created from a partnership between environmental organisation Feedback, the national charity dedicated to reducing food waste, and Growing Worcestershire, a community group campaigning for good quality food. 

The hub, which launched in September, is made up of dedicated volunteers determined to bring the old practise of gleaning back to the county.

According to Tristram Stuart, a campaigner and author of Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal, 20 to 40 per cent of the UK’s fruit and vegetables are rejected, mostly because they do not match the supermarkets’ strict cosmetic standards.

The group collects fruit and vegetables that is rejected before reaching shops for being either too small, too large or misshapen, or simply surplus, and then passes it on for people in need. 

The campaign is starting to gather pace and held its first big gleaning day on October 24.

A total of 30 volunteers of all ages - from six years old to 60 - supported the event.

Lizzie Pegler, the county gleaning co-ordinator for the county, said: "It was a truly fantastic day.

"So wonderful seeing people of all ages coming together to help tackle food waste, help those in need and have a fun day out in the countryside.

"An incredible 3.5 tonnes of delicious gala apples equivalent to 43,750 portions of fruit were saved from going to waste because they were to small.

"I am ever so grateful for the volunteers and farmer’s generosity, time and enthusiasm – we couldn’t do this without them.”

The food was distributed to good causes St Pauls Hostel, YMCA, Foodbank in Worcester, Wyre Forest Nightstop and Kidderminster Youth House. 

Anything left over was passed onto the Fareshare charity, supporting those in need across the country.

The group is appealing for volunteers to come forward and get involved with the group.

Anyone interested can sign up at http://feedbackglobal.org/gleaning-volunteer-form, or email worcestershire@feedbackglobal.org.

Any farmers or growers interested in having a gleaning event on their property or organisations interested in receiving produce are also asked to email the same address.