Friday, February 23, 2024

Greater Bendigo to trial food waste diversion program

City of Greater Bendigo Council has provided a $20,000 Circular City Grant to Bendigo Foodshare to undertake a trial that will see food waste diverted to help feed local people in need.

Council Resource Recovery and Education Manager, Brooke Pearce said the grant will help Bendigo Foodshare trial a project called Cooking for Change which is expected to divert over 1,000 kilograms of food waste into meals for food relief in our local community.

“Through the Cooking for Change program staff from local businesses and other organisations work alongside an experienced cook and produce 100 nutritious meals, using rescued food that would otherwise go to waste,” Ms Pearce said.

“The meals they make are individually packaged and frozen before being distributed across Central Victoria to those in need. It’s a great team building session for those involved and Bendigo Foodshare have received fabulous feedback on the project.

“What Bendigo Foodshare learn from the trial will then assist them to establish an ongoing program that will continue to benefit the community and divert even more food waste in the future.

Council has provided funding to assist with the pilot project and businesses and organisations interested in participating in the pilot program should contact Bendigo Foodshare on 5444 3409 or email info@bendigofoodshare.org.au.

“This is the first round of funding that the City has provided through this grant and a second round will be available in late 2023 when a grant of up to $20,000 will be offered for a project that will help to create or strengthen sustainable packaging options, repair, re-use, upcycle and share programs and circular economy systems,” said Ms Pearce.

“The Circular City Grant program aims to provide financial support to businesses, community groups, and not-for-profit organisations within the region to create a circular economy by avoiding waste, enabling reuse of materials, and supporting innovation within the region.

“Successful applicants must demonstrate how they are able to reduce waste to landfill and transition towards a circular economy by keeping resources in use for as long as possible, and to support local jobs and industry.

“Applications are expected to achieve circular economy outcomes for the community or an industry, not just for an individual business or organisation.”

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