$2.9M in food rescue grants

food rescue

The Queensland Government will provide $2.9 million through its Food Rescue Grant Program to help organisations across the state stop good food from ending up in landfill, and instead help Queenslanders in need.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon made the announcement in Parliament this week, with funding for 10 food rescue projects providing close to six million meals for people in need and diverting 2993 tonnes of food from landfill.

In addition to rescuing food, the projects will create more than 13 full-time equivalent jobs.

It’s the second round of the program – six projects were funded under round one with a state government commitment of $905,000 – and adds to the $1.1 billion Recycling and Jobs Fund and the government’s goal to divert 80 per cent of material from landfill by 2030.

Organisations receiving grants under round two of the Food Rescue Grant Program are SecondBite, Morningside; Twin Rivers Community Care, Logan; Foodbank Queensland, Morningside; OzHarvest; FareShare Australia, Morningside; Tony’s Community Kitchen; Fishers of Men, Logan; Mt Gravatt Community Centre’s “Food Pantry”; Lighthouse Centre Deception Bay; and The Rock Family and Community Support Inc, Redlands.

Palaszczuk said it’s no secret that cost-of-living pressures have an impact on the household budget and that includes at the dinner table. The Food Rescue Grant Program is helping Queenslanders in need, while also helping the environment.

“More than three million tonnes of edible good food – food that could better go to vulnerable Queenslanders – is sent to the tip each year,” she said. “We want to support organisations that are helping to rescue this food.”

Every meal from these organisations equates to 0.5 kilograms of rescued food, said Scanlon.

“The work these organisations do saves perfectly good food from landfill, which is a key component of our Queensland Organics Strategy 2022-2032,” she said.

“Under the Queensland Organics Strategy, we have committed that by 2030 we will halve the amount of food waste generated in Queensland; we will divert 80 per cent of food-related organic material from landfill; and we will achieve a minimum organics recycling rate of 70 per cent.

“Cost of living pressures are being felt across the world, including in Queensland, and these grants will make sure that good food can go to those in need, while also helping to tackle some of the harmful emissions food waste produces.”

Lucy Coward, SecondBite Acting Chief Executive Officer, said the organisation recognised that, along with similar organisations, it’s playing a role in helping the government achieve its organic waste reduction goals – but SecondBite’s mission is twofold – to end waste and end hunger.

“One in five Aussies are affected by food insecurity. We know this can badly affect their physical, emotional and social wellbeing,” Coward said.

“SecondBite makes sure that good food is getting to people who need it most, rather than to landfill. We rescue edible surplus food from growers, manufacturers and retailers and distribute it free of charge to more than 1400 charities and not-for-profit organisations to feed vulnerable Aussies.”

Ronni Kahn AO, OzHarvest Chief Executive Officer, said the funding could not come at a more crucial time.

“It will allow us to rescue more food and deliver it to more people struggling to put food on their table right now,” Kahn said. “We’re committed to ensure that good food goes to feed people, not landfill.”

For more information, visit: www.qld.gov.au

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