There are renewed calls for Illawarra food business to donate surplus rather than binning it, due to increasing demand from people in need.
Food Fairness Illawarra spokeswoman Berbel Franse said about 21,600 local residents were not able to access food that met their "health and cultural needs" at any given time.
She said rising unemployment meant more people had been reaching out for support, and urged businesses to donate surplus to OzHarvest - which assist with breakfast programs for children, community kitchens and meals for the homeless and disadvantaged.
Nicole Ball of OzHarvest said they now had a waiting list of organisations with relief programs who needed donated food, but to bring them on board they needed more donors.
She said OzHarvest can collect quality excess food from commercial outlets, or outlets could deliver direct to particular community organisations.
Types of food which can be donated include:
- Blemished or imperfect produce
- Products close to their use by date
- Products close or past their best before date
- Excess and slow-moving stock or deleted lines
- Products that have incorrect, damaged or no labelling and/or damaged packaging
- Sample size and bulk products
- Surplus food from breakfast, lunch or dinner services e.g. salads, sandwiches, muffins and cakes
- Leftover unused portions of food that have not been served to customers or clients such as sandwiches or salads from a café
- Food purchased by a food related business that becomes surplus to their requirements such as fresh or long-life produce
- Excess food at food markets or supermarkets
- Food grown at farms that does not meet the size or cosmetic criteria set by supermarkets.
For more information, visit: www.foodfairnessillawarra.org.au