From soup discos to getting into a pickle - Auckland Council’s Love Food Hate Waste Fund has given nearly $40,000 to a range of projects aimed at cutting down our food waste.
Food scraps make up around 45 per cent of the weight of an average Auckland household’s rubbish bin or bag. That means around 100,000 tonnes of domestic food scraps are currently sent to landfill each year from Auckland alone.
Love Food Hate Waste aims to raise awareness and support households to reduce the amount of food that goes in your home bin through educational campaigns and events. Food waste is a hidden cost to our wallets and the planet, with over 400,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions caused by household food waste in New Zealand every year. Simple changes to storage methods, making the most of leftovers and turning uneaten crusts into new snacks are easy and effective ways Aucklanders can fight food waste and reduce their climate impact.
Environment and Climate Change Committee Chair Richard Hills sees how the grants can help shift Tāmaki Makaurau towards a healthier, low-carbon, and more resilient food system for Aucklanders, one of the objectives in Te Tāruke ā Tāwhiri - Auckland’s Climate Plan.
“The Love Food Hate Waste grants enables creativity from our awesome community-focused organisations and businesses, who are challenging the norm and finding local solutions to reducing our region’s waste”
Fourteen organisations around the region have been given from $1000 to the maximum of $5000 for projects that align with this goal and empower communities to take action at home. The total funding provided is $39,994.
The largest grant has gone to the Kai Conscious Café on Waiheke Island, which rescues food and gives it to community hubs and turns the rest into a weekly communal shared lunch. So far, they’ve rescued over 40,000kgs of food and put it to use cooking alongside and feeding their local community.
The Café’s coordinator Kathy Voyles says watching the project grow on Waiheke and building relationships within the community has been an extraordinary experience. “Seeing how our volunteers have gained life skills and confidence has been very rewarding. Rescuing food and transforming it into delicious kai empowers and revitalises us. This grant supports us to continue our mahi, creating community behaviour change by modelling a zero-waste ethos, increasing Waiheke’s food resilience and reducing the amount of food going to landfill.”
Another Waiheke Island winner is Community Networks Waiheke, with $1767 to hold an 'Inglorious Vegetable Soup Disco' highlighting the tasty potential of imperfect produce. In Waiuku, the Marama Hou Ministries Charitable Trust received $2500 to help get their community pickling and preserving fruit and vegetables while they are in season.
Out West, Kai Avondale has been given a grant to run cooking classes to help people know what to make with rescued fruit and produce from their ‘Free Guys’ social supermarket.
Other recipients include schools, Kai West at the Te Puna Market, Destitute Gourmet, and two groups who aim to highlight the issue and help Chinese migrants and the wider Chinese community to keep food out of landfill – the CNSST Foundation, and the Wellbeing Charitable Trust
This is the fourth round of the Love Food Hate Waste fund. Since the grant’s inception in 2016, about $140,000 has been given out to community groups helping to cut Auckland’s food waste.
Visit lovefoodhatewaste.co.nz for recipe ideas and tips to save you money at home. If you have an idea for a project to educate and inspire others, then apply for the next funding round in February.