Chicken Galore: Hundreds queue for Orkney cruise liner food

- BBC News

Chicken Galore: Hundreds queue for Orkney cruise liner food

Hundreds of people have queued on a Kirkwall industrial estate to collect an estimated 13 tonnes of frozen food donated by a visiting cruise liner.

The giveaway included chicken, chips, mini ice-cream cones, and vegetables.

Some dubbed the operation Chicken Galore, a reference to the 1949 Ealing comedy Whisky Galore which tells the story of islanders rescuing bottles of alcohol from a sunken ship.

But this was artichoke hearts and asparagus spears instead of whisky.

Someone in the queue of up to 500 people said: "If it had been whisky, Id have been at the front of the queue."

The transatlantic liner had been forced to spend an extra night in Orkney because of bad weather in the Faroe Islands, which meant many guests took the chance to eat in Kirkwall restaurants instead of on the ship.

The number of sailing days had to be cut further which also left unwanted food.

The distribution was organised by local charity Greener Orkney.

The charity said it wanted to get the message across about not wasting food, and finding uses for surplus food, so it did not just get dumped.

However, it has never had to deal with so much at once before.

As the pallets were unwrapped, volunteers got their first sense of exactly what they had been given.

"Weve got some blackcurrants, and some apricots", one tells me. "There are tonnes of chickpeas, but whats underneath is still a mystery."

One Greener Orkney member walks down the queue, asking if anyone is interested in a box of frozen spinach.

And there are boxes and boxes of chicken necks - "great for making soup", one woman explains.

Charlie Millar from Orkney Harbours said the food would all have gone to landfill, if the people of Kirkwall had not been able to take it which he said was "terrible, in this day and age."

Read it all at BBC News