Foodbank meals via Y Waste App
According to RMIT Watch My Waste, quick service restaurants (QSRs) waste up to 40% of their food. A large amount of this is end-of-day surplus, that is food that is prepared and not sold. Due to its disbursed nature, this is food that traditional food rescue organisations are not easily able to collect or redistribute.
The Foodbank Hunger Report 2019 states that five million people in Australia are food insecure and almost three in five Australians experiencing food insecurity (58%) have sought assistance from a charity at least once in the last 12 months. Only 37% of the charities are meeting the full needs of the people that they assist, with Foodbank itself providing more than 815,000 people with food relief every month by working with over 2,400 charities across Australia.
Foodbank Australia want to significantly reduce the amount of prepared food becoming waste and fundamentally improve the reach of its services to the people that need it most. In stage one of this project (completed in November 2020), Foodbank Australia worked with Y Waste, an app that facilitates the discounted sale of end-of-day food from quick-service restaurants to consumers, rather than the food going to landfill. The app was expanded to include the option of restaurants offering free meals to people in need in the community.
Now in stage two, the NSW EPA joins the Foodbank Australia, Y Waste and RMIT to undertake a NSW pilot study for the rollout of the app in the community. This rollout will be supported with education and marketing materials based on the recommendations from RMIT.
The team will implement the updates and improvements relating to the user experience and interface design from stage one. The improved accessibility and user-friendliness will encourage uptake by special code holders that qualify for free “Foodbank Meals”, minimising technological barriers for the charity-referred users in claiming meals via the app.
Through this project, the aim is to have 1,000 quick-service restaurants register with the Y Waste app and offering 4,000 meals per week. This is estimated to equal 2000 kilograms of food per week (based on average meal size of 500g) redirected from landfill, reducing unnecessary food waste whilst simultaneously addressing food insecurity.