More than 5,000 people in Cork will enjoy free vegetarian curry at ‘Feed the City’ event to highlight food waste and sustainability issues on 15 March.

A new urban dining initiative, “Feed the City”, will see 5,000 people enjoying tasty and nutritious vegetarian curry absolutely free on Saturday 15th March at Grand Parade, Cork.  The initiative aims to highlight the issues of food waste and sustainability, and will only use vegetables that have been deemed surplus or otherwise going to waste.

The schedule of activities for “Feed the City” is not limited to a free meal however, and there is an exciting line up of street entertainment for all the family, as well as a food trail and exhibition, a series of talks on growing your own vegetables, composting, gardening tips and cookery demonstrations by renowned vegetarian chef and author, Denis Cotter of Café Paradiso and local food writer and chef Mercy Fenton.

“We have become used to eating vegetables that have travelled thousands of miles as we import more food than ever, and our farmers are producing for distant export markets”, explains Dr. Colin Sage, UCC and Cork Food Policy Council Chairman.  “The ‘Feed the City’ initiative aims to show how tasty and perfectly edible food is going to waste, and to change the way we think about our habits when it comes to food”.

The idea for this novel initiative grew out of a food-based initiative in Knocknaheeny, where the local community created and managed a community garden.  The allotments were such a success that those involved extended the project across the city and county to include those producing food from farm to fork. The organisers include representatives from UCC, HSE, food retail, farming, fishing, restaurant/catering, education, environmental sectors and local authorities.

There is a real community spirit behind Cork’s “Feed the City” with Catering students from CIT peeling and preparing 1 ton of vegetables for the curry the day before the event. Two 1,000 litre pots, which will be large enough to cater for the 5,000 servings, are being provided by the Food for All organisation in London, as it was a challenge to find such huge saucepans in Ireland.

The Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Catherine Clancy will serve the first diners at 1pm on Saturday March 15 at Grand Parade, Cork, and all are welcome to come along and enjoy a tasty and warming curry during the Cork St. Patricks Day Festival activities.