Did you know that 1 in 5 Australian households (21%)1 experienced severe food insecurity in 2021/2? This translates to 65,000 Illawarra households not being able to access food that meets their health and cultural needs. Meanwhile, tonnes of edible food ends up in landfill every week from the food industry.
In the space between these two complex [food system] issues, you’ll find a marvellous network of food rescue and relief organisations that collectively rescue a vast amount of food to feed the increasing number of people in need. To support and bolster this critical work, we are piloting a Regional Food Donation Coordinator position in close collaboration with the NSW Environmental Protection Authority.
The pilot aims to explore the potential of a regional coordinating position to build capacity, strengthen connections, and increase collaboration to expand rescued food donations and divert more edible food from landfill. Food rescue is an effective intervention that addresses food waste and loss avoidance. While the food rescue and relief organisations in our region already divert substantial quantities of food destined for landfill, it has the potential to be scaled up. The increased volume of rescued food offers the simultaneous opportunity to support more food insecure households.
The Regional Food Donation Coordinator works closely with food rescue and relief organisations to gain an overview of the most pressing barriers and challenges to increase rescued food donations. Followed by the implementation of several activities will hone in on collectively responding to the identified gaps and opportunities. The pilot operates as an extension of Food Fairness Illawarra’s work until May 2023 and builds on the successful outcomes of the “2019 EPA Food Donation Education” grant project, which delivered Illawarra’s Guide to Food Donations, including:
- Directory of Organizations accepting food donations
- Directory of Low cost & Free meals – Directory (web-based)
- Directory of Food donation Volunteer Opportunities – Directory
In celebration of this fantastic opportunity and the collective effort of the food relief and rescue organisations, we are hosting a networking event on Wednesday 1st of March from 2 pm-4 pm. To RSVP or for more information, please contact :
Berbel Franse Program Manager – Food Sustainability & Community Nutrition at Healthy Cities Illawarra (firstname.lastname@example.org / 02 4283 8111).
 Foodbank, 2022. Foodbank Hunger Report