Woman eats for free for a month by raiding supermarket bins

Care worker who waits for supermarkets to throw away food reveals she’s eaten for FREE for a month by raiding the bins for edible produce – including lamb chops, fruit and veg, bread and chocolates

  • Jill Bennett, 62, from Northampton, has spent a month eating all meals for free
  • Collects at least two bags full of food in date from supermarkets every Sunday
  • Care worker began after spotting employee throwing away £200 worth of food

A woman who was ‘sickened’ by the hundreds of pounds worth of fresh produce being wasted by supermarkets has claimed she has been able to spend an entire month eating for free by ‘waiting around their bins’.

‘Freegan’ Jill Bennett, 62, from Northampton, East Midlands, claims she has been eating three meals a day without spending a penny as well as donating heaps of food to her local community since she started waiting outside supermarkets for leftover stock to be thrown out. 

The care worker was inspired after seeing a supermarket employee binning more than ten bags worth of food including fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and ready meals.

When she took the bags home, she was shocked to discover that she had retrieved more than £200 of edible products.

Jill Bennett, 62, (pictured) from Northampton, East Midlands, claims she has spent a month eating solely food retrieved from supermarket bins 

Jill claims she has been able to find fresh produce, including fruit, vegetables and meat (pictured) while waiting around supermarket bins

Jill was left horrified at the thought of fresh food being thrown away so often and began waiting outside shops at ‘throwing out time’ every Sunday to intercept the worker before they disposed of the items.

She has lived solely on the produce she finds for the last month, including lamb chops, whole chickens, ready meals, curries, apple pies and fancy chocolates.

Jill said: ‘I’ve eaten for free for a month now and I’ve eaten better, fresher food than I’ve ever eaten. I eat fresh food every day.

‘Yesterday I had scrambled eggs on toast, all free, for lunch I had potato, spinach and tomato curry, the only things I had myself were oil and spices and in the evening, I had roasted vegetables and couscous and apple pie.

Jill said she began ‘waiting around bins’ after spotting a supermarket employee binning over ten bags worth of edible products

Jill said when she took the first bin bags of food home they contained over £200 worth of produce that would’ve been wasted 

Jill said she has piles of fresh fruit and vegetables (pictured) and has eaten better food than ever since she started waiting around supermarket bins 

‘Every day I eat really well and I’ve got piles of fresh fruit and veg. I find meat, lamb chops, whole chickens, ready meals, cakes, chocolate, fresh fruit and veg, all in date and every week, that’s what it is.

‘I don’t take things that are out of date or go in old bins for old food. All the food would have been sold ten minutes earlier.

‘All this food is being thrown away every single day in every single shop and it’s criminal. There’s food poverty, food waste and people can’t afford to pay their bills and eat.

Jill said she doesn’t take any foods that are out of date or old, all of the food she collects would’ve been sold ten minutes earlier 

Jill said food waste is ‘criminal’ as there are people who can’t afford to pay their bills or eat. Pictured: A meal Jill made from her free food 

‘Probably five minutes away from them the shops are throwing fully good food away and then we get the government saying there isn’t a problem here, people don’t know how to cook or budget. It makes me sick.

‘It got me thinking that this is happening in every single shop in every town, every city.’

Jill was doing her weekly food shop at her local supermarket when she just happened to spot an employee about to throw out more than ten bags worth of goods and decided to intervene.

The worker handed the food over and Jill was ‘gobsmacked’ to find more than £200 worth of food yet to go out of date.

Jill said it makes her ‘sick’ that the Government accuse people of not knowing how to budget or cook, while saying there isn’t a problem 

Every Sunday Jill collects at least two bin bags full of in date food and takes it home to share with her community.

Jill said: ‘I went to my local shop and as I was walking in a member of staff was coming out with a whole load of food in bin bags. I thought ‘surely they’re not going to throw that out’ so I followed her.

‘I stopped her, asked her if I could have it and she gave it to me. I hadn’t ever done it before. There were around 10 bin bags full of food. When I looked, I thought ‘bloody hell’.

‘I was gobsmacked, I was disgusted and thrilled and excited. I was really pleased to be able to save the food and to share it.

‘There was too much for me to take home.

Jill said she found one bin containing about £200 worth of chocolates and flowers (pictured), which she donated to other people

‘I went to another supermarket in the next village. I went in the bin that time and found about £200 worth of chocolates and flowers that had been thrown away. All the chocolates were in date and all the flowers were fresh so I came back to where I live and I gave them all away.

‘Everyone was very excited. I went back the next week and waiting at 3.30pm for throwing out time and the manager came out and he was about to throw it in the bin so I got out of my car and asked him if he was binning it, he gave it to me and said he hates throwing all the food away.

‘Ever since then, I’ve gone back at 3.30pm, waited for them and taken the food.

‘I saved about £100 this month that I would have spent on food, I’ve also shared four times as much of that with my local community.’

Jill (pictured) said a lot of the food she hasn’t scavenged, but has been given it because she asked 

Jill is showing off her eye-opening hauls in the hope of highlighting how much food goes to waste while encouraging supermarkets to cut down.

Jill said: ‘It’s not everyone’s cup of tea to wait around a bin but it’s every supermarket. People need to know that they can do this on a practical level. A lot of the food I haven’t scavenged, I’ve been given because I’ve asked for it.

‘It’s disgusting that this amount of food is being thrown away by shops around the country.

‘For me this is a very practical thing and political. I eat for free and eat really well but I’m passionate and sickened by all this food waste and really believe something needs to be done about it.

‘Especially in this day and age when people are really struggling with paying their bills and food.’

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