Government fund to fight coronavirus food waste

Written by: Maddie Ballard | Published:
The funding will help organisations redistribute up to 14,000 tonnes of surplus food stock

Defra has announced £3.25m of government funding to help reduce food waste during the coronavirus outbreak.

The COVID-19 Emergency Surplus Food Grant will be available to food redistribution organisations across England as they seek to redistribute up to 14,000 tonnes of surplus food stock.

The grant scheme, which will be managed by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), is intended to help organisations with obtaining, sorting, repackaging, storing, and transporting surplus food safely.

Food redistribution businesses and charities of all sizes are encouraged to bid for grants over the next month, from Thursday 9 April.

Marcus Gover, chief executive of WRAP, said: “It is critical in these unprecedented times that we maximise the amount of surplus food redistributed.

“These grants offer crucial financial support to redistribution organisations, where it will have the most impact.

“We know from managing redistribution funds that this money will make a huge difference to many people.”

Rene Meijer, chief executive of The Food Works, a food redistribution organisation in Sheffield, added: “Over the past two weeks we have doubled the amount of food we redistribute, as many tonnes of food goes spare from businesses closing and people change their shopping habits.

“Surplus food redistribution is all about providing resilience to the community, and at a time like this we need resilience more than ever to ensure good food does not go to waste and reaches those who need it.”

The scheme is the latest in a series of government initiatives to reduce food waste, including the £15m Food Waste Reduction Fund introduced last year.

Around 10 million tonnes of food are currently wasted each year in the UK, according to WRAP figures.

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