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Byron Shire
April 21, 2021

Local collaboration formed to feed people rather than landfill

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Feeding people at the same time as reducing food waste is the aim of a new regional food donation campaign initiated by NE Waste.

The campaign, ‘It’s Food For Thought’, is a collaboration of local councils, including Tweed Shire, the Northern Rivers Area Health Service, NSW Environment Protection Authority and the Love Food Hate Waste Program.

Sam Johnson, Byron Bay Manager at Suncoast Fresh which donates surplus fresh produce to local food relief agencies. Image supplied

Project Coordinator for NE Waste, Karen Rudkin, said charities have seen a significant increase in the frequency of demand for food relief due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘In 2019, 15 per cent of Australians experiencing food insecurity were seeking food relief at least once a week,’ she said.

‘In 2020, this doubled to 31 per cent.’

To assist food donation agencies to access more food from within the Northern Rivers region, NE Waste has developed a range of resources aimed at supporting and encouraging food businesses to donate excess or surplus food products or meals.

This includes a free toolkit which highlights where and how to donate and the economic incentives to do so.

It also debunks common myths around health and safety issues when donating.

Food businesses that donate their excess or surplus stock can benefit financially, environmentally and socially – from diverting waste from landfill, feeding those in need, and from the tax incentives associated with donations.

To find out how your business can get involved and to get started, visit www.newaste.org.au/fooddonation.


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