£3.25m support for food redistribution during COVID-19 pandemic announced

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THE GOVERNMENT has announced a £3 million fund for food redistribution organisations help them cut food waste during the coronavirus pandemic.

Food redistribution organisations across England are benefiting from £3.25 million of government funding to help them cut food waste and redistribute up to 14,000 tonnes of surplus.

From overcoming operational barriers in obtaining, storing and transporting food safely from restaurants as they close in response to coronavirus, to supporting drops in volunteer numbers, grants will be available to redistributors working hard to ensure valuable food supplies do not go to waste.

Environment Minister Rebecca Pow commented on the announcement: “I am proud of the many organisations across the UK working to ensure food and supplies are provided to those who need it most need during this challenging time.

“This funding will support people in need while ensuring that we minimise the amount of food which goes to waste – benefiting both society and the environment.”

All food redistribution businesses and charities will be encouraged to bid for grants over the coming month, including those whose volunteer programmes have been affected by social distancing measures or those that cannot access their usual commercial support network.

This funding comes as the government continues to engage with the food industry to ensure the nation is fed, and people across the UK are supported in getting the food and groceries they need.

Food Waste Champion Ben Elliot commented: “Now more than ever, it is of paramount importance that we ensure good food does not go to waste.

“This money will support food redistribution organisations to continue their pivotal work in delivering food to those who need it.”

The Defra-funded grant scheme will be managed by sustainability not-for-profit WRAP, which works closely with governments, businesses, and redistribution organisations to minimise food waste.

Chief Executive of WRAP Marcus Gover 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.”

Application windows for the fund will be split in to three phases.

For more information click here.