The government is making £3.25 million available to support food distribution organisations across England cut food waste and redistribute surplus stock during the coronavirus outbreak.
Thanks to this investment, up to 14,000 tonnes of surplus stock will be distributed during the outbreak, according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
There has been a massive spike in surplus food over the last few weeks after government ordered restaurants in England to close.
The grants will help to overcome operational barriers in obtaining, storing, and transporting food safely from these restaurants. Grants will also support drops in volunteer numbers as more people self-isolate and test positive for the virus.
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 can’t 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.
“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,” said Environment Minister Rebecca Pow.
Food Waste Champion Ben added: “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.