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Food & Hunger

Britain Just Got a £500K Boost to End Food Waste

With 15 million tonnes of food going to waste every year in the UK, it seems crazy that some people are going hungry while others have far too much. 

But, that’s the reality. 

Now, environment secretary Michael Gove has announced at £500,000 fund to help distribute extra food to those who need it — so it doesn’t end up in the bin. 

Take action: Call on the EU to Halve Food Waste by 2030

Gove hopes the Food Waste Reduction fund, which he announced on Friday, will quadruple the amount of food being distributed in the UK by 2025 — up from the 17,000 tonnes of food redistributed in 2015. 

Every UK organisation and charity involved in the redistribution of food to the hungry will have the opportunity to bid for a share of the funding. 

And the money will be distributed by Wrap, the government’s Waste and Resources Action Programme. 

Read more: Co-op Set to Sell Food Past Its 'Best-Before' Date for Just 10p

The average family in the UK throws away £700 worth of food every year, with the most wasted products being bread and potatoes. 

That adds up to the 15 million tonnes of food wasted every year in Britain, 7 million tonnes of which comes from households, according to Wrap. 

Gove was reportedly inspired by the “Help a Hungry Child” appeal , launched by the Independent and the Evening Standard. 

He wrote in the Standard on Friday that Christmas is a time for “recalling our responsibilities” towards others.

Read more: This Is the Second Most Wasted Food in the UK — But You Can Help Change That

Hilary Croft, from the Felix Project, which has been a key focus of the newspapers’ appeal, described it as “incredible news.” 

“Knowing that the government is willing to financially support organisations like ours gives me hope that one day we will crack the dual issue of food surplus and food poverty,” she said.

Food poverty, or food insecurity, has become a growing problem in the UK, with one in four low-income families now struggling to eat regularly.

The Trussell Trust, the UK’s biggest food bank network, reported in November that it has seen a 30% rise in demand in some parts of the UK since April. The Trust — whose 428 food bank centres have given out 587,000 3-day emergency food packages since April — warned that it was on track to deliver record levels of food aid this year. 

Read more: This British Woman Hates Food Waste So Much She Launched an App to End It

Food poverty affects around 70,000 children in London alone, according to the appeal, which has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds. 

Global Citizen campaigns to put an end to hunger and malnutrition around the world, including by ending food waste. You can join us by taking action here