Food rescue helps people in need and saves food from landfill
Published Wednesday, 15 March, 2023 at 01:00 PM
Premier and Minister for the Olympic and Paralympic Games
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk
Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef and Minister for Science and Youth Affairs
The Honourable Meaghan Scanlon
- The Palaszczuk Government will provide $2.9 million for 10 food rescue projects, providing close to six million meals for people in need and diverting 2,993 tonnes of good food from landfill
- The funding will help organisations purchase or upgrade infrastructure and equipment as well as hire important staff to help collect and distribute food
- It adds to the $1.1 billion Recycling and Jobs Fund and the government’s goal to diver 80 per cent of material from landfill by 2030
The Palaszczuk Government has announced an additional $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 today, with funding for 10 food rescue organisations to purchase or upgrade infrastructure and equipment, and help operational costs like staffing.
In addition to rescuing food, the projects will see more than 13 full time equivalent jobs created.
It’s the second round of the program, which saw six projects successfully funded under Round 1 with a Palaszczuk Government commitment of $905,000.
Organisations receiving grants under Round Two of the Food Rescue Grant Program are:
- SecondBite, Morningside, will receive $491,639 to upgrade freezer infrastructure and purchase a 14-pallet truck to increase the distribution of meals in south-east Queensland. The organisation estimates that by June 2024, some 1701 tonnes of food will be saved from landfill with this funding.
- Twin Rivers Community Care, Logan, will receive $486,035 to expand leased space at their Eagleby location to include more storage space (dry, cool and freezer) and shop space. The organisation estimates that by June 2024, some 352 tonnes of food will be saved from landfill with this funding.
- Foodbank Queensland, Morningside, will receive $408,096 to purchase a 6-pallet refrigerated vehicle and upgrade their coldroom, giving them the capacity to collect more food from their donors and distribute it through member charities and school breakfast programs. The organisation estimates that by June 2024, some 141 tonnes of food will be saved from landfill with this funding.
- OzHarvest will receive $403,565 to purchase a hybrid 6-pallet truck, hybrid service wagon, forklift, and offset rental and staff costs to enhance their operations throughout south-east Queensland. The organisation estimates that by June 2024, some 150 tonnes of food will be saved from landfill with this funding.
- FareShare Australia, Morningside, will receive $360,000 for specialised equipment, food ingredients and staff costs, to enable them to produce foods with an increased shelf-life, for distribution to south-east and regional Queensland. The organisation estimates that by June 2024, some 75 tonnes of food will be saved from landfill with this funding.
- Tony's Community Kitchen, Toowoomba, will receive $262,011 to purchase a refrigerated truck, cold and freezer rooms with shelving, and a backup generator. The organisation estimates that by June 2024, some 156 tonnes of food will be saved from landfill with this funding.
- Fishers of Men, Logan, will receive $213,408 for a new food van with a pie warmer, and to offset staff wages. The organisation estimates that by June 2024, some 23.4 tonnes of food will be saved from landfill with this funding.
- Mt Gravatt Community Centre’s “Food Pantry” will receive $111,305 for a new refrigerated vehicle to cater for the increase demand in food rescue operations. The funding will also assist in employing a truck driver. The organisation estimates that by June 2024, some 46 tonnes of food will be saved from landfill with this funding.
- Lighthouse Centre Deception Bay will receive $104,260 to purchase a refrigeration truck to enable the organisation to expand its current transport compacity and to increase its food rescue by between 30 and 50 per cent. The organisation estimates that by June 2024, some 343 tonnes of food will be saved from landfill with this funding.
- The Rock Family and Community Support Inc, Redlands, will receive $79,161 for infrastructure upgrades to increase cold storage areas and improve cold room efficiency that will increase food shelf life and staff working conditions. The organisation estimates that by June 2024, some 6.4 tonnes of food will be saved from landfill with this funding.
Quotes attributable to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk:
“It’s no secret that cost-of-living pressures have an impact on the household budget and that includes at the dinner table.
“Another way we are helping Queenslanders in need – while also helping the environment - is through our Food Rescue Grant Program.
“More than three million tonnes of edible good food – food that could better go to vulnerable Queenslanders - is sent to the tip each year.
“We want to support organisations that are helping to rescue this food for Queenslanders in need.”
Quotes attributable to the Minister for Environment and Science Meaghan Scanlon:
“Every meal from these organisations equates to 0.5kg of rescued food. With this funding, we’ll be able to create an estimated 5.97 million meals for Queenslanders in need.
“The projects we’ve been able to fund will provide benefits for many years, with equipment like refrigerated trucks and new cold rooms helping to rescue, store and distribute food well into the future.
“The work these organisations do saves perfectly good food from landfill, which is a key component of our Queensland Organics Strategy 2022-2032.
“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.”
Quotes attributable to SecondBite Acting CEO Lucy Coward whose organisation received further funding through the Food Rescue Grant Program:
“We recognise that, along with similar organisations, we are playing a role in helping the government achieve its organic waste reduction goals – but for us, our 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.
“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 1,400 charities and not-for-profit organisations to feed vulnerable Aussies.
“Our partners use the rescued food for nourishing meals, emergency relief packages, community pantries and much more.”
Quotes attributable to OzHarvest CEO Ronni Kahn AO:
“This 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.
“We’re committed to ensure that good food goes to feed people, not landfill.
“We thank the Palaszczuk Government and we look forward to continuing our work together here in Queensland.”
Information on the Queensland Organics Strategy 2022-2032 is available here.
FoodBank has recently released the FoodBank Hunger Report 2022 which found that severe food insecurity has affected 21% of households over the past 12 months.
Media contact: Francis Dela Cruz – 0420 592 078