How charities and retailers are working together to address waste

Media Coverage
The Guardian; June 12, 2023

Many Australians are feeling the crunch – here is how two waste-prevention charities are working to get more food and household supplies to people who need them

In Australia, on any given day, about half a million households will skip a meal or reduce the size of a meal because they can’t afford to buy food. It may not surprise you to know that this number is increasing. About 2 million households ran out of food last year.

Brianna Casey is the CEO of Foodbank Australia, which provides food assistance to more than 1 million people each month. Through rescuing leftover food, and donations from farmers, wholesalers and retailers, Foodbank is able to distribute what Casey describes as “beautiful food” to households that might otherwise go without. Last year, it sourced enough food for more than 82m meals.

Food is not the only essential Australians are struggling to access. As the founder and managing director of Good360 Australia, Alison Covington is connecting businesses with organisations that support people in need of essential household items.

While many of us are aware of food waste and scarcity, Covington says Australians are not as familiar with the need for items such as clothing, homewares, toys, furniture and computers. Research conducted with Deloitte Access Economics has revealed that $2.5bn worth of new goods like these end up in waste every year.

Demand for products is impossible to predict precisely, she says, meaning retailers are left with excess goods. Sometimes this is because a season has passed or interest in a popular TV show and its associated merchandise has waned. Without organisations such as Good360, these perfectly good products – unused and still in their packaging – would be left on the shelf or end up in landfill. Good360 works directly with charities and disadvantaged schools, acting as a conduit between people in need and the businesses that can donate life-changing products.

Check out the full article over at The Guardian.


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