$7 million in new grants to reduce food waste and feed those in need

The NSW Government is supporting businesses and food relief charities to reduce the 1.7 million tonnes of food that goes to waste every year in NSW, with the opening of two new grants programs.

A $7 million funding injection under the Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy will provide $4 million to help businesses reduce food waste and $3 million to charities which rescue edible food and deliver it to families and households in need.

The NSW Labor Government’s number one priority is helping people across NSW with cost of living pressures. We know that more than 30 per cent of NSW households are experiencing moderate or severe food insecurity, and that’s not good enough.

By redirecting surplus food before it goes to waste, we can support people in our community who are experiencing food insecurity, while driving down emissions generated by rotting food in landfill.

The hospitality, retail and institutional sectors are responsible for 37 percent of our state’s food waste. Organics waste including rotting food generates 3.1 million tonnes of CO2-e each year in NSW landfills, accounting for 56 per cent of total landfill waste emissions.

Through the new $4 million Business Food Waste Partnership Grants, businesses and peak industry bodies can apply for grants of up to $200,000 to reduce food waste and boost recycling.

Grantees will partner with the NSW Environment Protection Authority to design and deliver tailor-made food waste education programs. A range of organisations are invited to apply, including businesses, peak bodies and councils.

Grants and rebates worth $3 million are available to food rescue and relief organisations to better manage increasing amounts of rescued food and deliver it to those in need.

The National Food Waste Baseline estimates around 70 per cent of the food wasted in NSW is still edible, and the NSW Government wants to see more redirected to charities.

Food rescue charities can apply for grants of up to $500,000 and rebates of up to $2,000 to purchase new infrastructure and equipment or invest in education and collaboration.

For information on these grants and rebates, and closing dates, go to: https://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/business-food-waste-grants https://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/food-rescue-grants  https://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/food-rescue-rebates

Quote attributable to Minister for Climate Change and the Environment Penny Sharpe:

“1.7 million tonnes of food goes to waste in NSW every year, even though more than two-thirds of it is still edible. We are making sure more of that food reaches those in need across NSW.

“These grants are a win-win. They will help charities feed more people by saving food that would otherwise be wasted. At the same time, they will lower emissions from landfill.

"When we waste food, we also waste the energy and water it takes to grow, harvest, transport and package it.”