A re-elected Turnbull Government will help local food rescue charities reduce costs and expand their services by providing $1.2 million over two years.
Every week, food rescue charities such as Foodbank, OzHarvest, Secondbite and Fareshare and their thousands of local volunteer workers deliver meals including fresh fruit, vegetables, dairy, bakery and meat to Australians in need.
“The work of these charities is enormously important, producing clear social, environmental, health and economic benefits for Australia, and significant inroads towards mitigating food insecurity across Australia,” Minister Hunt said.
Minister Hunt and Mr Guest today visited OzHarvest’s new food rescue operations in Port Melbourne to announce that a re-elected Turnbull Coalition Government will provide $1.2 million over two years to support four food rescue charities to reduce costs by investing in solar, batteries and energy efficient refrigeration systems.
“Melbourne Ports has a number of charities that support people in need. This new funding will help food rescue charities support many more people in the local Melbourne Ports community,” Mr Guest said.
This funding will allow food rescue charities across the country to reduce costs at their food rescue centres in metro and regional Australia and expand their fleets of refrigeration vehicles.
“This is an enormously generous contribution from the Turnbull Government and will support actions by Secondbite and other charities to provide nutritious meals to even more Australians in need including homeless adults and youth, youth at risk, single parent households, women and families in crisis, people with disabilities, indigenous communities, new arrivals and long term unemployed,” Mr Ian Carson, Founder of Secondbite said.
“FareShare’s volunteers already cook rescued food into 25,000 free nutritious meals a week for hundreds of charities. But sadly it’s not enough to support the growing number of people who have fallen on hard times. This commitment will enable us to cook rescued food into 2 million hearty meals a year and make significant inroads the scourge of food poverty,” Marcus Godinho, FareShare CEO said.
A re-elected Turnbull Coalition Government will also work with states, community groups and businesses to develop a National Food Waste Strategy to work towards achieving a 50 per cent reduction in food waste.
“The need to reduce food waste is well known and significant. The United Nations has set a goal of reducing food waste by 50 per cent by 2030 globally. We need coordinated action in Australia to work towards this goal,” Ms Ronni Kahn, OzHarvest CEO & Founder said.
At the next Meeting of Environment Ministers, the Commonwealth will seek agreement from State and Environment Ministers with the support of Australian Local Government Association to establish a goal of a 50 per cent reduction in food waste.
“To kick start the discussion I am releasing information on how every person, business and organisation can work together to reduce food waste,” Minister Hunt said.
In 2016-17 the Department of the Environment will convene a National Food Waste Summit bringing together all levels of government, industry and the community sector to develop a plan to reduce food waste by 50 per cent.
“As the largest provider of food relief, we believe bringing together states, territories and local governments, businesses and key community groups around the table is extremely important,” said Geoff Starr, CEO of Foodbank.
“The hidden crisis of hunger is growing and avoiding food waste will mean more food is available to go to the hungry.”
The Department of the Environment will also work with food waste charities to explore options to streamline the methodology for source separated organic waste under the Emissions Reduction Fund to make it easier for food waste charities to access the fund.
These actions build on the Coalition’s new commitments to reduce waste and increase recycling including funding of $100,000 to support the Banksia Foundation. The Banksia Foundation supports and recognises sustainable practices across Australia. OzHarvest won the 2012 Banksia Agriculture and Food Award for their work to support food rescue.
Funding for these projects has been provided for from within existing budget resources.