The former University of Bristol student's community project, 'Eat United Nicaragua', combats food poverty and malnutrition among the most vulnerable people in Managua, Nicaragua, by collecting and cooking food that would otherwise go to waste.
Whilst volunteering in Nicaragua Katie was shocked by the amount of edible food that was thrown away at the end of the day, especially in a community where many are underfed and undernourished. The contradiction of seeing food poverty and food waste within the same community inspired her to start up the project in March 2013.
Since then her project has grown and now involves a team of volunteers who collect food from supermarkets, bakeries and local markets. This is then used to provide free and nutritious meals for children.
To ensure a sustainable change the project involves local people and also provides educational workshops on food, waste and nutrition.
'Eat United Nicaragua' collaborates with some of the biggest wholesale markets in Managua, reducing their waste and feeding over 130 children per week. 'Eat United' has served over 1,000 plates of food to local street children and to others in need.
Katie said: "The response so far has been excellent. The most pleasing thing for me is that the rest of the volunteers are all Nicaraguan locals. It's crucial that the people living in the community help their own in order for 'Eat United Nicaragua' to be a sustainable project."
One of Katie's major achievements for the project has been a live interview on Nicaraguan television. There are many more exciting events to come, including a documentary and a food festival in the summer to raise awareness of Katie's mantra: "food poverty and food waste should never coexist".
Katie became aware of the problems of food poverty and food waste whilst studying in Bristol through other students and programmes such as FoodCycle and Feed the 5K.
More information: foodcycle.org.uk/