Delivery Van Pick-ups to Help Food Banks?
26 February 2015 at 10:41 am
A British waste management and recycling company has come up with a novel scheme to collect donations for food banks – using spare capacity on delivery vans and regular kerb-side collections by garbage trucks.
The company BusinessWaste.co.uk says that the vast majority of people don't give to food banks because they find it inconvenient.
And according to the company’s own research over two-thirds of households would consider giving food to the needy if it were collected either from their home or from a secure central point on a regular basis.
"Who has time to take a donation to a food bank?" BusinessWaste.co.uk spokesperson Mark Hall said.
"Everybody's got time to leave something out to be collected from their home, though."
"The sad truth is that many people don't even leave food at supermarket deposit points because they're located after the till, and most customers are more focused on getting home at that point.
"Home collections are the way ahead, and local councils should get on board."
BusinessWaste.co.uk asked 1265 of customers about their willingness to give donations to food banks, and found that:
90 per cent said that there was a need for food banks, and they supported the idea
68 per cent said they would make a donation if it was made effort-free
67 per cent said they would make a donation if it was collected from their home or a convenient location
20 per cent said they would rather give cash to enable charities to make more meaningful purchases
“The problem is that there's a lack of coordination in collecting for food banks,” Hall said.
"And the huge irony is that families often buy far more than they need, and thousands of tons of food go to waste every year in the UK.
“Official figures show that nearly one-third of food production is wasted every year, while families cannot afford to feed themselves.”
BusinessWaste.co.uk also suggests regular weekly or fortnightly pick-ups from front-door steps as part of regular recycling collections.
"It's a no-brainer," Hall said,
"Double up a fortnightly card, tin and glass recycling route with a food bank collection team, and the donations will roll in."
While there are obvious resource and cost implications to such a scheme at a time when local authorities are dealing with tighter budgets, BusinessWaste.co.uk said that should not be a red line.
"It's something that combines communities, businesses, charities and local groups, bringing everybody together for a common good," Hall said.
"Sponsorship would help offset the cost, meaning that council budgets would be protected."
BusinessWaste.co.uk said that the British food crisis is real for many families, and it's time to remove the stigma of accepting food from food banks, as well as making donating to the needy a part of everyday life.
In Australia, Foodbank is the country’s largest hunger relief organisation. In 2014 the Not for Profit says it provided enough food for 32 million meals.
Foodbank acts as a pantry to the charities and community groups who feed the hungry. It was first established in 1992 in NSW and now has distribution centres in all state capitals as well as a number of regional centres.
“We welcome opportunities for the public to contribute in a tangible way to the effort of relieving hunger in the community,” Foodbank Australia CEO, Jason Hincks said of the UK idea.
“Getting food from where it’s available to where it’s most needed is one of our biggest challenges so new approaches that can bridge that gap are well worth exploring.”