Eggcup is a surplus food redistribution centre for the Lancaster City Council district.  We support groups of volunteers to set up and run neighbourhood food clubs.  We provide training, ongoing support, and we deliver the food each week.  We want to ensure that good food is not wasted and that it gets to the people in most need.

What is a surplus food club?  A food club is a pop-up event, usually happening once a week.  Most clubs are run by groups of volunteers who are also members of the club.  Clubs take place in function rooms, community centres or village halls.  The volunteers  set up an area of the room to look a bit like a shop and when the food arrives they set it out on the shelves and the counter.  Food clubs are sociable events, so there is also a cafe counter with drinks, cakes or snacks.  Members pay a low-cost weekly membership subscription and that covers all the costs of the cafe and the food ‘shop’.

Eggcup runs a professional warehouse in the north of Lancaster, close to the M6 and the Bay Gateway.  We have funding from the Waste and Resources Action Programme and adhere to all the protocols covered in the WRAP guidance and checklist for food redistributors.  We are supported by the city council, including their team of environmental health inspectors.  We can take any type of surplus: retail ready packaged food, farm surplus, catering scale food needing portioning, packaging and labelling, surplus from restaurants, cafes and other hospitality outlets.  If you have surplus, we can manage it safely and make sure it gets to people in need – helping you to reduce waste and support the community.

Meet the team

David France - Project Manager

I’m passionate about sustainability, especially when it comes to our food, but having spent a long time working within the food industry I have seen first-hand how our current system leads to huge volumes of good food being wasted. I worked most recently at the charity Fareshare where I was involved with a national programme that connects charity groups with their local stores to access surplus food. I have seen how surplus food can be a lifeline to vulnerable people. I believe that within our communities we all have the power and the responsibility to support each other, and that’s why I am so excited to be part of Eggcup!

Gillian Holden - Trustee

Following my retirement last year I decided I needed to keep my brain
active so I started to look for a volunteering opportunity. I knew that
I wanted to be involved with a local charity that really makes a
difference to my local area and Eggcup ticked all the boxes.  I went
along for a chat and knew more or less straight away that it was right
for me.  I didn't know much about food poverty but I was able to offer
many years of experience in finance.  After discovering that there was
indeed an opportunity for my skills to be utilised I volunteered for a
few months (and continue to do so) and then I was invited to become a
Trustee. Eggcup have a hard-working and friendly team of staff,
volunteers and trustees and I was honoured to accept the invitation.

When I am not "Eggcupping" I like to read, watch live cricket, cook and
do jigsaw puzzles (not at the same time though)!  My two grandchildren
also keep me on my toes.

Greg Myers - Trustee

I came to eggcup through my other volunteering activities, where I saw how many people have difficulty getting enough food for themselves and their families. The food banks deal with brief crises, such as a benefits sanction or the sudden loss of a job. But we need longer- term ways to work with and support the many people who are always just on the edge of getting by, with jobs that don’t pay enough or give variable hours, and with erratic and punitive benefits.

So I joined this project thinking about food poverty. But as I’ve worked with my colleagues, I have become more aware of just how much food is wasted, of how it has become part of the system of food production and distribution, and of how much it costs the environment. (And I’ve become more aware of the waste in my own practices of shopping, cooking, and eating). The long-term challenge is both reducing food waste, and getting food that is in the wrong place to people who can use it.

To answer the question everyone asks me as soon as I open my mouth, I am originally from Idaho, in the Rocky Mountains of the western USA. I came to the UK more than 35 years ago, and taught linguistics for many years at Lancaster University. I retired two years ago. When I am not volunteering, I like to walk and take photos.

Deborah Finn - Trustee

I stumbled into all of this without much of a plan.  I find it really unacceptable that some people struggle to have enough money to eat, pay the bills, feel secure in their home.  We have to work towards a better world in the long term, but I felt like I needed to do something more immediate.  So back in 2016 I set up the first surplus food club in the district.  It worked really well and the idea took off and now we have quite a few clubs in the area.  We're loosely grouped together in an Intercepted Food Club Alliance.  The food club idea took off so well that it started to seem like we could do with having our own redistribution centre right here, making it a lot easier for people to run clubs.  Eggcup came into being to make that happen.  Now that Eggcup is standing on its own two feet, I'm hoping that soon I'll be able to get back to some of my hobbies of painting, writing and canoeing.

Could you be an Eggcup Trustee?

Our Values:

Solidarity: A belief in the need to stand together, mutually support and cooperate with other food organisations to strengthen our thriving community food network in order to supply people with food.

Justice and fairness: A belief that having enough food to live, grow and thrive is a basic human right, and food should be distributed fairly. We will supply food clubs and community groups equitably with the food stuffs we source.

Facilitation: A belief that those who have the resources to help others to develop their potential should do so.  We will support existing food clubs and stimulate the growth of new clubs, providing training to volunteers and continuously learning with the community.

Sustainability:  A belief in working towards a food system designed for people and the planet.  Where food is designated as surplus it should be eaten by people wherever possible.  We will avoid waste and wherever possible, promote sustainable practices that benefit good nutrition and the health of the environment.   We aim for financial sustainability as a non-profit organisation.