Food rescue organisations are being helped by the Palaszczuk Government to buy new vehicles and equipment so surplus food can be diverted from landfill to Queenslanders in need.
A total of $850,000 is now available for Queensland not-for-profit food rescue organisations which are encouraged to apply for grants of up to $200,000 for eligible projects.
Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon said grant funding could be used for the purchase of additional small trucks or vans, in-vehicle refrigeration, warehouse shelving and operational costs.
“Every year Australians throw away more than 3 million tonnes of edible food, costing Queensland households up to $3,000 each,” Minister Scanlon said.
“Food waste produces eight per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions and accounts for more than five percent of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.
“Total food waste costs the Australian economy around $20 billion annually.”
Foodbank Australia’s Hunger Report 2020 revealed that COVID-19, and its flow on effects, have changed the face of food insecurity in Queensland and not-for-profit organisations have seen a significant increase in the frequency of demand for food relief.
“The pandemic has highlighted the vital role these organisations play each and every day to not only rescue perfectly edible food from landfill, but to ensure that Queenslanders doing it tough have food on the dinner table,” Ms Scanlon said.
“This year the number of Queenslanders seeking food relief at least once a week has almost doubled to 18%.
“These grants will go a long way to ensure that these vital organisations can continue to assist those in need with the added value of diverting food waste from landfill.”
The Queensland Government’s Waste Management Resource Recovery Strategy has in place ambitious targets to reduce household waste by 25% and see 90% of waste recovered or diverted from Queensland landfill sites by the year 2050.
Applications for the program are now open and must be submitted through the SmartyGrants portal by 5:00PM Tuesday, 13 April 2021. Further details and an application form is available here: https://www.qld.gov.au/environment/pollution/management/waste/recovery/funding-grants/.