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Qantas Food ResQ Program Feeds Thousands In Need

October 7, 2016 Responsible Tourism No Comments Email Email

Qantas has signed up as an ongoing food donor of Australia’s leading food rescue organisation, OzHarvest, after a successful one year trial that resulted in 35 tonnes of food being redistributed to people in need.

A team of Qantas and Food “ResQ” volunteers at Qantas catering centres in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, has developed a process to collect a variety of untouched food items from domestic flights, which is then picked up by OzHarvest vans and delivered to a range of charitable organisations.

Rescued food from domestic flights includes unopened food items and fruits – such as apples, bananas, muesli bars, breakfast cereal, baked goods and water cups. As a premium airline Qantas caters for every passenger on-board however not everyone chooses to eat when they fly, so this food is now collected as part of the Qantas Food ResQ program.

Alison Webster, Executive Manager Qantas Freight and Qantas Catering Group said the program has been a huge success to date with tonnes of food distributed to underprivileged school children, drought-affected families, refuge centres, youth centres and many more community causes.

“Every kilogram of food that can be rescued from a Qantas flight saves perfectly edible food from ending up in landfill which not only protects the environment but helps make a positive difference to the lives of those less fortunate,” said Ms Webster.

“The Qantas Food ResQ program is run by a terrific group of volunteers who treasure hunt through the catering boxes on the lookout for packaged items such as sweet treats and whole fruit to salvage.”

Founder and CEO of OzHarvest, Ronni Kahn is constantly looking for innovative ways to tackle food waste in Australia and says the surplus items saved from the Qantas domestic food boxes make a real difference to those in need.

“OzHarvest collects surplus food from more than 2,000 food donors around the country. Thanks to the generosity of these food donors, rather than ending up as waste, this quality food feeds vulnerable women, men and children as well as reducing massive costs for food disposal.

“This type of collaboration shows a major commitment towards the national target of reducing food waste in Australia by 50 per cent by 2025.”

Qantas Food ResQ program facts:
• Qantas is the first of all food donors to establish a dedicated OzHarvest volunteer program, welcoming OzHarvest volunteers to carry out their community duties onsite.
• Food is collected from domestic Qantas flights. Custom and quarantine regulations currently prevent collection from International flights.
• Rescued food is delivered to more than one thousand school children each week (children that go to school with no breakfast, no school lunch or both)
• Additional community recipients include: Drought affected farmers, Indigenous communities, Woman Refuge Centres, Street Van Programs, Homeless, Youth Centres, ESL Schools and more
• Data and analytics captured from the Food ResQ program, has already led to greater business efficiency and cost savings within Qantas Catering.

Food waste facts:
• Approximately 8 to 10 billion dollars of food is wasted each year in commercial and residential waste. That’s around four million tonnes of food that ends up as landfill. (1.)
• Roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tonnes — gets lost or wasted. (2.)
• Australians throw out one out of every five shopping bags, which equates to every household throwing out $1,036 worth of groceries each year. (3.)
• Australia produces enough food to feed approx. 60 million people. (4.)
• Over 644,000 people now receive food relief each month, a third are children.
• Food relief agencies are not able to meet demand. A third more food is required to bridge the gap. (5.)
• Roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tonnes — gets lost or wasted. (6.)
• Australians throw out one out of every five shopping bags, which equates to every household throwing out $1,036 worth of groceries each year. (7.)
• Australia produces enough food to feed approx. 60 million people. (8.)
• Over 644,000 people now receive food relief each month, a third are children.
• Food relief agencies are not able to meet demand. A third more food is required to bridge the gap. (9.)

[1] ABS Australian Social Trends (2007), Hyder Consulting (2009), Australian DEWHA National Waste Report (2010), Australian DSEWPaC National Food Waste Assessment (2011), NSW EPA Food waste avoidance benchmark study (2009), Encycle Consulting (2013), Baker D, Fear J, Denniss R. What a waste: an analysis of household expenditure on food, The Australia Institute 2009.

[2] Global Food Losses and Food Waste – FAO, 2011

[3] NSW EPA Food waste avoidance benchmark study (2009)

[4] DAFF, National Food Plan 2012

[5] Foodbank, Hunger Report 2016

[6] Global Food Losses and Food Waste – FAO, 2011

[7] NSW EPA Food waste avoidance benchmark study (2009)

[8] DAFF, National Food Plan 2012

[9] Foodbank, Hunger Report 2016

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