There is quite a debate going on nationally about what we do with our waste. The ever increasing landfill sites are getting fuller and local councils are being asked to look seriously at the collection of our rubbish. As a family we try and recycle what we can and having had a daughter out in Germany for nearly a year, and observe how comprehensively they recycle, you realise that our efforts are not that good.Here in Bens we try and recycle what we are able too. I suspect that, as with all of us we could do better! We are trying to address at the moment the food waste we have. To be fair it is not that much at all, and you would expect this as buying food often is not top of client’s lists and so our food is appreciated. As a Centre we do not charge anything for our food. We are one of only a few centre’s who does this. We are dealing with very chaotic clients and food is vitally important to them. Their health is often poor and when you are a street drinker sitting down to a well cooked hot meal is often a life-line. We take a harm minimisation approach to our client’s alcoholism. Alcohol is full of sugar and the liquid fills individual’s stomachs and masks their need for food. We knew one client who ended up in hospital with malnutrition due to the fact of his heavy drinking and not having being able to discern this need. Lately there has been a small minority with an indifferent attitude to our food. This, and I stress this, is only with a small minority. Food has been left and then when seconds are served the client would like more. I add here that if the first meal served is not eaten then we do not give them any more. Also at the moment we have removed the smoothie machine as a few clients make one and then have a few sips and leave the rest. Buying fresh fruit is expensive. It is a shame we have to do this as a few clients are spoiling it for the majority. It will be reinstated as soon as we feel clients understand why it has been removed. We have fired a few shots out over the bow saying that we are seriously thinking about charging for our food. Here again the ones that are the most needy would be the losers. We do not want to do this as our food is at the core of what we do. Our meal-times are special and it adds to our sense of family and community. Often these warning shots are all that is needed to tighten up our boundaries again and clients usually respond well. I guess at times we all take something for granted in our lives and need to be reminded of its value to us.