Grundon Waste Management has teamed up with the Oxford Food Bank to launch a Festive Food Share campaign throughout the Christmas period.
It is hoping to raise thousands of pounds towards the charity’s £60,000 a year running costs, by encouraging businesses to change the way they dispose of unwanted food.
It’s an ethos shared with the Food Bank, as its Facilities Co-ordinator, David Kay, explains: “We are as much about reducing food waste as we are about feeding vulnerable people in the community and reducing food poverty, so together we have similar aims.
“It costs us thousands of pounds every year to run the charity, having Grundon’s support will be very useful indeed and make a significant difference to our day-to-day activities.”
For every £1 donated, the Oxford Food Bank can provide around £20 worth of fruit, vegetables, bread and dairy products – currently around £1 million worth of food a year – all of which is delivered to some 50 charities in and around Oxford and a further 10 in Abingdon and Didcot.
Through its campaign, which started on December 1 and runs throughout the month, Grundon hopes to raise its target of £3,000 – or the equivalent of £60,000 worth of food.
Instead of throwing unwanted food away, the Benson-based waste management company wants organisations to adopt a discount and distribute policy, with disposal as the last resort.
Deputy chairman, Neil Grundon, said: “Together with the Food Bank, our priority is to help reduce food waste and that’s why we’re running our Festive Food Share campaign.
“We’re calling on Oxfordshire’s hospitality, business and retail sectors to become smarter about the way they deal with food and stop thinking of it as a disposable commodity. Many could do well to follow the example of the supermarkets and wholesalers who already donate fresh food to the Food Bank on a daily basis.
“We do recognise however, that there are times when food waste is unavoidable, for example if food is out-of-date or spoilt, in which case it’s important to take a more sustainable solution, rather than simply throw it into landfill.”
To encourage more organisations to adopt a greener approach, for every new customer it signs up to its dedicated food waste collection service during December, Grundon will donate £25 to the Oxford Food Bank. A further 25p will be donated for every food waste bin it empties from existing customers.
“As a local Oxfordshire business, giving back to the community in which we operate is very important,” continued Grundon. “We hope by supporting the Oxford Food Bank we can help to raise awareness of their great work and do our bit for the environment at the same time.”
Food waste collected by Grundon is sent to specialist anaerobic digestion facilities, where it generates renewable electricity and bio-fertiliser.
Launched in 2009, the Oxford Food Bank receives no government grants or official support, relying instead on goodwill from local businesses and individuals.
Most of its operations are carried out by a team of around 100 volunteers and during December a number of Grundon staff have also stepped forward to lend their support on the seven-day-a-week shifts.
Receive the latest industry news and views