Foodsharing Copenhagen – The story

Food waste is an issue that we can’t just ignore.
It’s not just a pity to throw away food, but it it’s an act of ignorance, egoism, and self-destruction.

We often forget that huge resources are used  to produce food: from production to the consumer, almost the half of it gets thrown away.
We should remember that there are people which can’t afford even to buy enough food; in Copenhagen, there is a graffiti stating: “someone’s trash, is someone’s else treasure”.

I had the chance to volunteer with and discuss with some of the activists which started Foodsharing Copenhagen

To fight food waste, a movement called Foodsharing started first in Germany, where it is now well-established.
Since about one year it started in Denmark, where it conquered Copenhagen.
Foodsharing Copenhagen was, in the beginning, a really small project, a grassroots initiative.

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Foodsharing sign at the start, searching for volunteers in the streets

 

Thanks to the help of many volunteers, among which there was the great people of Floating City and the legendary Francois—who arranged many agreements with food donors—, it became a well structured non-profit movement with almost 10.000 followers on their Facebook page.

 

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By the way, if you don’t know what Foodsharing is, well, it’s simple: there are weekly events where people can share their food or take food that they need.

 

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Visit the Foodsharing Copenhagen website or the Facebook group for more info.

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Street Connections – Getting close to people sleeping rough

 

–STREET CONNECTIONS–

A simple, human to human action, to share time and food with people, in the street.

 

WHY

It serves mostly for two causes:

– Create awareness about homelessness

– As sign of humanity and warmth to people sleeping rough

 

 

PRACTICAL

Once a week, we first gather with all the volunteers to prepare food with love; something simple is good enough.
After having a short conversation and planning about who goes where, we go in the streets in small groups, two to three persons in each group.

There is already a map which we can use to find the points where people sleeping rough are.

In an extremely kind, casual and humble way, we approach people sleeping rough, we start a conversation as we would talk to a person in a bar, then we aim at keeping it, about any topic, but we would never ever ask about their problems during the first or second time we meet them. Later on, if we feel confident and we sense that our connection is strong enough, we can start talking about their problems with them, but always trying to let them start the topic first, without pushing.

The next week we do the same, but with more knowledge, experience, and love acquired from the previous time.

Once we have enough information about the problems of our friends in the streets, we can brainstorm for solutions. Every person needs a different solution.

Each of us can propose to follow up one person in the street. This is the most effective way to create something beneficial.

We could, for example, help in making them an account into an accommodation or volunteer platform such as:

CouchSurfing
BeWelcome
TrustRoots

WorkAway
HelpX
VolunteersBase

 

CONNECTION

The first thing to create is a connection, a bridge, and a humble, true friendship. Even just one connection is enough. Once this is built up, each volunteer can understand situations and problems of people sleeping rough. Just then, there are possible actions that could improve their situation.

 

FRIENDSHIP

It’s not a rescue mission and it does not aim to fix problems instantly. It’s rather a long-term process, where each volunteer decides to open their minds and hearts making friendship with someone who meets mostly indifference and ignorance.  It is about creating an individual and unique relationship.

 

WHO HELPS WHOM

You are not simply “helping people in the street”, you are actually helping yourself too. From this activity, you may benefit more than the one you meet. It may seem strange but it is true.

Getting connections and understanding realities that you have never imagined to exist, will give you more than you can imagine.

 

FOR WHOM?

“I feel really excited and tensioned to connect with people sleeping rough. I sometimes give food I have with me but I don’t actually talk with these people.”—Those are the words of a really kind-hearted activist. So, it seems, it’s hard even for highly aware people to connect with the ones in the street.
This may be exactly the same feeling of many others: you want to help, but you find it awkward or even embarrassing to randomly talk to people in the street.
“Street Connections” is a kind of workshop for those, like you, who have a big heart, but feel a bit uncertain about going and talking to rough sleepers.
Being in a sociable group, sharing knowledge and experience, will transform your tension into pleasure.



Copenhagen – Facebook Group – Street Connections



 

What is worse? To think without do or to do without thinking?