Tackling Food Waste

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Environmental charity Hubbub is on the hunt for new creative solutions to food waste, which could be boosted by its new £200,000 Eat It Up fund, launching today, with applications open until 21st July.  

According to WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme), 6.4 million tonnes of edible food is wasted each year in the UK by retailers, manufacturers, caterers, restaurants and in people’s homes. A staggering 3.6 million tonnes of food is also wasted before it even leaves the farm gate.

The Eat It Up fund is looking for ideas that:
  1. Address pre-farmgate waste (the food production process, up to the point where the products have been harvested and prepared as produce for sale)
  2. Prevent food from being wasted at manufacturing and processing stage
  3. Minimise food waste from retailers
  4. Find ways to use surplus food in creative ways in communities or at home  

Small businesses, social enterprises, charities, local authorities and universities can apply for a grant of £40,000 to support ideas that are ready to test, or concepts that have been tested and are ready to progress further.

Ellen Rutherford, Head of Food at Hubbub said:

The Eat It Up Fund has been created to stimulate innovation in tackling food waste, which is a big contributor to climate change. So many resources go into growing, processing, packing, storing and transporting food. There are lots of interesting and inventive ideas out there and this new fund will help organisations to test new concepts and get their ideas off the ground.

In addition to the new Eat It Up fund, Hubbub is expanding its Food Connect initiative. Now entering its fourth year, Food Connect is a food redistribution service that uses zero-emission vehicles to tackle the ‘final mile’ challenge by deliveringgood quality surplus food for community groups to share.

To date, Food Connect has redistributed the equivalent of over 2.4 million meals with 14 community groups, welcoming over 140,000 visitors and creating 13 green jobs. It operates in Milton Keynes and London and will be expanded to further locations later this year.

Both the Eat It Up fund and the expansion of Food Connect are being supported by Starbucks.  Funding for the two Hubbub initiatives has been made possible by donations from the Starbucks 5p cup charge, which is applied when a customer chooses to use a paper cup.

Jacqui Wetherly, Director of Sustainability at Starbucks UK said:

“Food waste continues to present a huge challenge nationwide and innovative and creative solutions are needed to help tackle it. We are proud to be supporting our long-standing partners, Hubbub, with the launch of the Eat It Up Fund, as these projects will be the starting point for us to understand more about the levers of change and help inform society’s response to food waste across the country”

Applications for the Eat It Up fund are open until 21st July. Those wanting to apply can visit – www.eatitupfund.org.uk

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