By Fionnuala Holohan.[youtube.com=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PoX2IbvRCo&feature=g-upl]
While elsewhere in the city, anti-austerity demonstrators were preparing to march on Dáil Éireann, here in Wolfe Tone Square austerity and thrift were the watchwords of the day.
Army tents, mobile kitchens and fridges lined the square, in preparation for Dublin’s first “Feeding the 5000” event – where “ugly” fruit and vegetables would be recycled to make free meals for everyone for the day.
“Shops and shoppers often reject perfectly good fruit,” said Clíona, a volunteer, observing that in the UK, people were more pragmatic and happy to take leftovers at the end of the day, whereas in Ireland, there was a reluctance to do so. “It would be a good thing if that changed,” she added.
Tristram Stuart, author of Waste, Uncovering the Global Food Scandal, and organizer of the first such events in Bristol and London, was on hand to help the Dublin organizers. He stood at the end of Mary Street, encouraging shoppers to come sample the free food.
The pace was slower than expected, but steady throughout the day.
The Dublin “Feeding the 5000” event was held as part of the European Week for Waste Reduction which ran from November 17th-25th.