The CEO of a charity has been recognised in the New Year’s Honours List for her services to the country.

FoodCycle CEO Mary McGrath, from Barnet, was awarded an MBE, marking her career to fight food poverty, social isolation and food waste through her work with national charities.

Ms McGrath said: “I am thrilled to be included in this years Honours List. I hope this award will help to increase awareness of the amazing work we do at FoodCycle to strengthen communities by bringing people together for a healthy meal – at a time when help is needed more than ever.”      

Ms McGrath began her career in the food industry developing biscuits and cereals for major supermarkets but wanted to do something more fulfilling.

This led to roles heading up Grocery Aid – which was the first UK food redistribution charity that donated surplus food to over 400 charities – and spearheading projects to re-distribute surplus food for over 900 charities at FareShare.

She also sits on the board of trustees at The Bread and Butter Thing, a charity that makes life more affordable for people on a low income, builds stronger communities and reduces food waste through its affordable food service.

Since Ms McGrath joined FoodCycle in late 2013, the organisation has grown from 400 community dining events per year to serving 1500 guests per week at 42 locations across the country, with further plans for expansion.

To date, the charity has served 1,011,655 meals to vulnerable people across the country and saved 425 tonnes of surplus food.

Unable to bring people together through community meals for much of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, FoodCycle provided food parcels at first before moving to providing their Cook and Collect takeaway service. 

Stephen Catling, FoodCycle Chair said: “I am delighted Mary has been recognized in the New Years Honours 2021 for her outstanding contribution and leadership in supporting communities through our charity.  It is also a great recognition of the amazing work from the whole team at FoodCycle across the UK”