A WORTHING woman has set up a food waste swear box to highlight the amount of food that is thrown away.
Christina Davenport, of Western Place, will put money in a box every time she wastes food throughout lent, and donate the money to charity at the end.
She said: “There has been a lot of talk in the media about waste and I think that people are starting to become more aware of the food items that they throw away.
“Pope Francis has also been very keen to remind people that waste is a pretty awful thing because we are buying so much and throwing so much away.
“I began to realise just how much this was happening when I was clearing out my cupboards recently. There was all this stuff and only some of it could be reused by making other meals such as soups.
“If you live on your own it can be very difficult, because there is only so much of something that one person can eat and it can also be quite expensive
“Perishable food goes off eventually and across the UK we are throwing 7.2million tonnes of it away each year.
“We also throw away 220,000 loaves of bread and 1.6million bananas.”
Ms Davenport, said she has been inspired by the Justice and Peace group and has tried to change her way of thinking when shopping and planning meals.
“A better idea is to use markets or buy smaller quantities of food so that less is wasted,” she said.
“I thought doing a food waste swear box would be a good way to make me change my behaviour and lent seemed like the perfect time to do it.
“My system is that if I waster a small amount of food I put in 50 pence and for larger quantities I out in a £1. I have already collected more than £10 in just a few days.
“I know that it is going to take me a bit of time to convert my behaviour but I am determined to do this.
“We have to remember that we are lucky and fortunate to be able top eat lovely things so we should not be wasting it, especially when there are people in this country who are having to visit food banks.
“That is another thing that makes me feel very embarrassed and ashamed.”
The retired mother is also encouraging other people to challenge themselves and improve food waste.
She said: “ Children can do this and also encourage their parents to do it.
“All you need to do is put a pot or tin in the kitchen to collect the money and it is important that it is in the kitchen so you are reminded every time you cook a meal.
“I am trying to re-educate myself, for example, I know that I will not eat a whole loaf of bread even though it is cheaper, so now I will buy a smaller loaf even though it may cost me more because it is not a bargain if it is wasted.
“I am going to extend this beyond Lent and hopefully it will change my life with regard to food and waste.”