Food redistribution organisations across England are to benefit from £3.25 million of government funding to help them cut food waste and redistribute up to 14,000 tonnes of surplus stock during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
From overcoming operational barriers in obtaining, storing and transporting food safely from restaurants as they close in response to coronavirus, to supporting drops in volunteer numbers, grants will be available to redistributors working to ensure valuable food supplies do not go to waste.
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 cannot access their usual commercial support network.
The Defra-funded grant scheme will be managed by sustainability not-for-profit organisation WRAP, which works closely with governments, businesses and redistribution organisations to minimise food waste.
Chief Executive of WRAP Marcus Gover said: ‘It is critical in these unprecedented times that we maximise the amount of surplus food redistributed. ‘These grants offer crucial financial support to redistribution organisations, where it will have the most impact. ‘We know from managing redistribution funds that this money will make a huge difference to many people.’ The Fund will operate over three phases, with applications invited under phases 2 and 3, which are set to open on 9 April.