26 November 2010

Fresh Food Rescue in Australia

Reposted in full from Woolworths, who are supporting OzHarvest and Foodbank in SA.

'Ever wondered what happens to the fresh food that is not sold in our stores?

Each year households, retailers, restaurants and businesses throw out millions of tonnes of food which then finds its way into landfill sites. Although not always fit for sale, much of it is good quality and can easily be rescued and turned into nutritious, meals for the needy or vulnerable in our society.

The Woolworths Fresh Food Rescue program aims to rescue surplus fresh food from the waste stream and turn it into meals for the needy. With a target for 2010 to provide two million meals for those in need and $2 million for those who serve them, this extensive program will help address an underlying social problem in Australia.

View the community groups that received Fresh Food Rescue grants in New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania.

Woolworths recognises it has a significant role in ensuring that fresh edible food, which for various reasons cannot be sold, is put to the best possible use by turning it into meals. To do this, many Woolworths stores across the country currently work with organisations such as Foodbank, OzHarvest, FareShare, The Salvation Army and SecondBite. However, these organisations only have limited resources to collect and distribute the rescued fresh food that is so desperately required.

The Woolworths Fresh Food Rescue campaign will support these food relief charities at two core levels:

1) Expanding fresh food rescue from Woolworths stores to food relief charities. Already, over half of Woolworths supermarkets are rescuing surplus fresh food, which would otherwise go to landfill. Woolworths aims to substantially increase its partnerships with local food relief charities and soup kitchens and is actively seeking new community partners to work with stores right across the country.

2) Building additional capacity through a major grants scheme. Woolworths is contributing $2 million to help charity groups expand their operations and ensure thousands more people can access healthy, nutritious food. Over 100 food relief charities have benefited from infrastructure grants for vital items, such as vans, refrigerators, freezers and kitchen equipment.

With an ambitious target to reduce organic waste to zero by the year 2015, the ultimate aim is to have all 810 supermarkets in local partnerships. Local organisations who are keen to be part of the Fresh Food Rescue program should speak to their local Woolworths store manager.'


  1. I'm curious as to how this is going to be done & where will these meals be available from.

  2. Hi there, I can't tell you about all the organisations mentioned, but I can tell you from personal involvement that OzHarvest (which is about to launch in Adelaide) have been providing meals in Sydney and other locations in the eastern states for six years now from a range of food donors. OzHarvest are a logistics organisation backed by mostly philanthropic funding - they move fit for consumption food safely, and for free, to a range of charities and shelters. You can find out more at: http://www.ozharvest.org.au


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