Financial help for Gwynedd community food sharing efforts
Gwynedd Council has opened a grant scheme to support local groups who distribute food in their communities.
It is a sad fact that hundreds of thousands of tonnes of food that goes to waste each year is still edible. So much is discarded because of labelling errors, over-production or a short shelf-life.
But a number of community groups are working with local shops and supermarkets to try to ensure that much of this product can be distributed to Gwynedd residents. To help these groups, the Council has secured £24,360 of Welsh Government Circular Economy grant funding to enable them to purchase equipment such as fridges, freezers and food storage equipment to assist them in their work.
Councillor Catrin Wager, Gwynedd Council's Cabinet Member for Highways and Municipal who leads on waste and recycling said:
“The Covid-19 crisis has meant that more people are facing social problems including food poverty. It is a heart-breaking fact that there are families in our communities here in Gwynedd who are struggling to put nutritious food on the table.
"Latest estimates show that there is at least 250,000 tonnes of produce from the food and drink industry that can be distributed to feed people in the UK every year - that's enough to provide 650 million nutritious meals for people in need.
“But, the pandemic has also highlighted people's desire to support one another. There are many examples of local voluntary groups doing an amazing job of distributing food in their communities.
"With this scheme our intention as a Council is to ensure that these groups have the necessary equipment to store nutritious food so that it can be shared with local people. This will not only ensure that we save food from going to waste but also any food that’s not fit consumption will be recycled through the Council's anaerobic digestion site and used to generate green energy.
"We want to hear from any local groups here in Gwynedd who share food in their communities so we can support them with the work of collecting, transporting or the redistribution of food. The Council is particularly keen to hear from projects hoping to expand the offer of fresh food, for example by setting up community fridges.”
Gwynedd Council will provide free commercial food waste collections for the successful projects, and at least six successful projects will have access to additional support from the Council’s waste team.
For more details on the financial support available and how to apply, visit www.gwynedd.llyw.cymru/FoodShareGrant - all applications will need to be submitted by 31 January 2021.
PHOTOGRAPH: Councillor Catrin Wager, Gwynedd Council's Cabinet Member for Highways and Municipal