According to estimations, food waste costs the Australian economy $20 billion each year.
The Coalition government, which I’m proud to be a part of, is committed to reducing this waste by 50 per cent by 2030. One of the ways we are doing this is to deliver on an election commitment to support those on the front line of food rescue and food waste reduction with $1.2 million in funding, under the Food Rescue Charities Program.
The Food Rescue Charities Program assists our food rescuers to reduce their energy costs by switching to renewable energy, increasing their capacity to rescue and store more food and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the amount of food ending up in landfill.
In tangible ways, the Food Rescue Charities Program includes support to Oz Harvest Limited with $272,233 for its Food Rescue Program national vehicle fleet and food storage refrigeration systems project.
These funds will help them expand their fleet of refrigerated vehicles and refrigeration systems to increase food rescue and supply through their programs in Victoria, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory and Queensland.
OzHarvest have a physical presence in the Port Macquarie community, as their REAP chapter was founded in 2011. These volunteers collect food which would have previously gone to waste from willing businesses, and deliver this good food to those in need.
Instead of paying for this food to go into landfill, these local businesses can simply give this food to these charity organisations and these groups distribute this food to locals who can’t afford to buy it themselves. But to fulfil this community need while ensuring this food remains safe to consume, these organisations need adequate refrigeration and transport resources.
The Food Rescue Charities Program is an important step in helping reduce food waste and support those most in need. For information on OzHarvest’s REAP Program visit ozharvest.org/reap/chapters/port-macquarie/