Reduce food waste and increase community resilience
Collective Awareness Platforms for Sustainability & Social Innovation
SAVINGFOOD is a project that looks at one fundamental right: the right to food. In a world where millions of people live in hunger or situations of food insecurity, the great amount of food that is discarded and wasted daily is unbelievable. In Europe this is about 173 kg per person every year for a total cost of 143 million Euros per year, approximately the whole EU budget!
Adding to these economic and social aspects are the environmental concerns concerns for example, food waste produces an enormous amount of problem-causing methane.
The SAVINGFOOD project tackles these two problems: hunger and food waste. It does so by engaging different actors that probably would not have an impactful voice if acting divided, but that can acquire visibility and also power if united.
Through this donors, citizens and charities are engaged to achieve the same objective: providing a fruitful and effective redistribution of food that would be otherwise be wasted, and distribute it to those who need it. This process will reduce food waste and while fighting hunger from a bottom-up perspective: by moving forward from existing food redistribution channels, SAVINGFOOD seeks to create a social movement for reducing waste: a real social sea change.
Theprocess functions quite simply: for example, a farmer who could not sell some products for economic or aesthetic reasons can contact a SAVINGFOOD coordinator to notify them that some food is available for collection. The coordinator puts the necessary information (such as the possible date for the collection event, location, type of the products, etc.) in the SavingFood platform, then the volunteer citizens receive a notification and can indicate their availability for specific dates and locations. Interested persons can register as volunteer, donor or recipient organization and explore the whole range of opportunities through the SAVINGFOOD platform.
Even if thought of on a possible world-wide scale, the project is particularly related to the creation and the activity of local communities and networks of citizens, farmers, local food businesses and associations. For this reason, some of the most relevant social engagement activities are structured by the different local communities: the most relevant case is the one of the Disco soup, a sort of social dinner where the food that would otherwise be wasted is publicly distributed and shared among the members of the local community. In the end, in fact, the real objective of SAVINGFOOD is to go beyond food redistribution by improving awareness and engagement across multiple stakeholders on the topic of food.
Description of the outcome
Reduce food waste and increase communities resilience
The SAVINGFOOD Platform enables people to create and improve local networks of shops, farmers, welfare associations and volunteers, to better distribute otherwise wasted food.
It functions as follows: organizations that have a food surplus give notification through the platform and other organizations that have a need for this type of food acquire the request, while volunteers get involved to gather and distribute the food.
In the SAVINGFOOD Platform everyone’s needs – food donors, beneficiaries, policy-makers and society at large – are met, information is shared and food is effectively distributed. Through the platform, it is also possible to access the Food Waste Calculator which can help businesses like supermarkets, restaurants, and bakeries etc. get informed on the financial and environmental impact of the food they waste. On the basis of this information, they can estimate how much their food wastage currently costs them and decide whether to donate it to food organizations that can distribute it to those who are in need.
What you need to use it
For using the platform is it sufficient to access the Internet via a computer. Also for the Food Waste Calculator, there is no need for specific skills.
Do you want to contribute?
Citizens in the contries where the project is active (Greece, Hungary, the United Kingdom and Belgium) are able to access to the platform, connect with the associations that collect the food from the donors and indicate their availability for specific days and hours to volunteer and distribute food. They can also directly donate the food to the organizations. Citizens of other cities in Europe and organisations interested in the topic can contact the project at the following address for learning more about the possibility to use the platform at local level: firstname.lastname@example.org
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