A COUPLE from Oxford committed to minimising waste served their wedding guests on Saturday a feast cooked from food that would otherwise have been thrown away.

From the wedding cake to chilli main course, Marta Lomza and Sam Chappell's reception at Hogacre Common was prepared using items sourced from Oxford Food Bank's surplus stock.

It is a first for the charity, which collects unsold fresh food from local supermarkets and wholesalers that would be wasted, and delivers it for free to more than 80 Oxfordshire charities.

Ms Lomza said while the decision to work with the food bank may be unusual it was a 'natural choice' for the environmentally-conscious pair, explaining: “I have volunteered with the Oxford Food Surplus Café before, plus I manage a project which aims to reduce the amount of food waste in Oxfordshire.”

The 31-year-old added it was 'heartbreaking' to see food at the charity that was still edible end up in the bin.

She said: “It feels good to use our wedding as an excuse to do something positive for our community, and to support the food bank, which is such a mainstay of so many great projects in Oxfordshire.”

The couple, who live on a canal boat in Wolvercote, went to collect their ingredients from the charity on Friday, having no clue what they would be feeding their 60 guests until they arrived.

Mr Chappell, 32, said: "It was a really fun part of it to go around and see what was there.

"They had lots of peppers, potatoes and other vegetables so we decided to make a vegetarian chilli, buying some onions and garlic to complete the dish.

His wife added: "We even managed to find a couple of M&S wedding cakes, which was really lucky."

Friends helped the couple prepare and cook the food on Saturday morning, and donations towards the food bank were also collected during the reception.

Ms Lomza admitted the approach would not work for everyone, saying: "I think if you are quite relaxed about the whole thing like we are it can be a really good and a fun experience.

"For couples who want to plan everything perfectly in advance though, not knowing what you'll be serving could be stressful.

"I think this is something that is becoming more popular and that's a good thing for the environment."

Mr Chappell, who works at bike repair collective Broken Spoke, said while the majority of guests had been enthusiastic about the couple's plan he had initially had to clear up some misconceptions about what the couple were doing.

He explained: "I think when people first hear some weren't sure if we were going to be taking food from the food bank they could have used but everything was stuff they would have ended up in the bin."

He added: “Using food which would have otherwise been wasted just made sense. I love food so I find the idea of throwing perfectly good food in the bin just horrifying.

"It feels great to be able to save at least some of it.”