Each year, one-third of all food produced for human consumption worldwide goes to waste. This is approximately 1.3 billion tonnes. (FAO, 2019). In central Edinburgh, 27.1 tonnes of food goes to waste every week - that’s the equivalent of roughly 54,000 meals unnecessarily thrown in the bin (Zero Waste Edinburgh, 2017).
The Food Sharing Hub, located in our Zero Waste Hub at 22 Bread Street, is Scotland’s first rescued food shop and exists to save surplus food from supermarkets and small businesses around Edinburgh from an unnecessary fate in the bin.
It’s open for everyone. Simply come along to the Food Sharing Hub. Fill a basket with food and pay as you feel.
We’re open 11am to 6pm Tuesday to Saturday
The Food Sharing Hub is working with a host of local supermarkets and small businesses via Fareshare and Neighbourly to rescue surplus food that might otherwise end up in landfill. We get a lot of fresh produce - fruits and vegetables, as well as bread and baked goods that are still tasty and safe to eat past their ‘best before’. We also get seasonal products that shops need to clear away, dented tins, cut flowers and all sorts of surprises.
We use cargo bikes wherever possible to collect food and to distribute it to partner organisations. While we have two cargo bikes ourselves we also work with Cargo Bike Movement and their fleet of bikes.
We want our community to know the process behind the food we get on our shelves. It takes a dedicated team of volunteers…
In the evenings, we have collectors who travel round all our partner stores on cargo bikes or by car, collecting food that the stores haven’t managed to sell. While we have two cargo bikes ourselves we also work with Cargo Bike Movement and their fleet of bikes.
These collectors then bring the food to a team of volunteers waiting at the Zero Waste Hub who sort through it and weigh it. This team take some of the food to local hostels on their way home. This sorting happens between 8.30pm and 11pm!
The next morning, a team of volunteers come in early to arrange the food on the shelves and put aside some food for other partner organisations.
Our Café volunteers then select items that they can use in our vegan café that day such as fruit for our smoothies!
Our doors open at 11am and our shelves are looking full and tidy - all thanks to all these people!
The Food Sharing Edinburgh project also coordinates a network of surplus food collections from small businesses and redistributes it to charities across the city who ensure that it reaches people facing food insecurity and offers them a dignified way of accessing nutritious food, while tackling unnecessary food waste.
The Food Sharing Edinburgh project is generously funded by donations from our community and grant funding from:
We are currently saving an average of 1.63 tonnes of food through the Food Sharing Hub per month - that’s a saving of 7.69 tonnes of carbon equivalent.
Food Sharing Edinburgh saved 48.9 tonnes of food in total between Dec 2017 and June 2020. Much of this is redistributed from small businesses directly to charity partners.
The Zero Waste Hub is on the ground floor with a small step at the entrance. A ramp is available, just ring the bell and one of our volunteers will happily assist you. All the public spaces throughout the building are step free and there is an accessible toilet with hand rails.
There are disabled parking bays on both parallel streets, East Fountainbridge and Grindlay Street.
All our toilets are gender neutral.
If you have further questions regarding accessibility, please contact the Zero Waste Hub on 0131 281 0583.
There is space to lock up your bike on the corner of Lothian Road and Bread Street by Cost Cutters.
The Zero Waste Hub is located just off Lothian Road and Grassmarket and following bus routes will take you nearby;
Lothian Road routes: 47, 24, 10, 11, 15, 16, 36, 1, 34, 124
Grassmarket route: 2
Please travel to the Zero Waste Hub by sustainable transport methods (walking, cycling or bus) if you can. There is limited on-street paid parking on Bread Street, but two large car parks a 4 minute walk away:
Semple Street, Edinburgh, EH3 8BL
NCP Car Park Edinburgh Castle Terrace
Castle Terrace, Edinburgh, EH1 2E
SHRUB Coop is supported through a combination of grant funding and generous donations from our community. We’re grateful for all their support. Find out more about our grant funders by clicking on the logos above.