Grab a bite to save the planet: App encourages Waikato to take advantage of discounted food at local restaurants

The Foodprint app allows people to collect food from restaurants and cafes that would otherwise go to waste. Photo / Provided

Food waste is one of the biggest contributors to climate change, but thanks to the Foodprint app, Waikato residents can now do their part to reduce it and save food from local restaurants that would otherwise go to waste. .

The hospitality and retail sectors in New Zealand waste almost 50,000 tonnes of food each year, of which more than 60% is still edible. When food is thrown away, it decomposes and creates a huge amount of greenhouse gases that help to raise the Earth’s temperature.

Foodprint was founded by Auckland sustainability campaigner Michal Garvey in 2019 and connects users with at least 30% of local restaurant discount food that is on the shelves but not selling.

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Garvey says Foodprint is a sustainability-focused app that gives customers a chance to “take a bite to save the planet.”

“The fight against food waste has been identified as one of the main actions to combat the climate crisis and is currently the subject of consultation through the Ministry of the Environment.”

Foodprint launched in Waikato two weeks ago and so far has 30 restaurants in Hamilton, Raglan, Cambridge and Te Awamutu. The app was first launched in Auckland and has since expanded to Wellington and Dunedin.

“The Waikato launch is the first larger expansion…It’s been very well received so far, we’ve had a tremendous amount of downloads across the region.”

Waikato restaurants include Hamilton’s Hazel Hayes, Cinnamon and Demi-Urgos, Raglan’s The Herbal Dispensary and The Shack, Cambridge’s Reload Coffee and Te Awamutu’s Pickle & Plum joining a community of 400 restaurants across the three metropolises.

Hazel Hayes owner Dylan Bhantoa says Foodprint stops waste and is a great opportunity for people on a budget.  Photo / Danielle Zollickhofer
Hazel Hayes owner Dylan Bhantoa says Foodprint stops waste and is a great opportunity for people on a budget. Photo / Danielle Zollickhofer

Hamilton cafe owner Hazel Hayes Dylan Bhantoa says he’s always been interested in ways to make his business more environmentally friendly and Foodprint is a great tool for that.

“We try to reduce the amount of waste we send to landfill. For our catering, we provide appropriate crockery and cutlery instead of plastic ones, for example.

“Some of our [food] products have a short shelf life and although we usually don’t have a lot of food leftovers, we do occasionally receive a few leftover items. »

Garvey says restaurants choose what, how much and when they list foods.

“Items can be yesterday’s produce or juices on the last day of their best before date. Sometimes it can even be whole cakes that have been made to order but not picked up…Each day, the food on the app is different.”

Bhantoa says Foodprint is not just a good opportunity to fight landfill. “Through Foodprint, people on a tight budget have access to items they normally wouldn’t have because they’re too expensive.”

Michal Garvey, founder of Foodprint.  Photo / Provided
Michal Garvey, founder of Foodprint. Photo / Provided

The app is free for restaurants and can be downloaded by customers for free. Once downloaded, users can access a map of saved nearby restaurants and receive push notifications when new deals are listed. The only requirement is that people collect their goods from the store the same day before it closes.

Garvey says residents of the small towns of Waikato are especially excited about the launch.

“Someone said to me, ‘That’s so cool, that kind of stuff doesn’t usually come to Raglan.’ But we want to reduce food waste everywhere, just because it’s a small town doesn’t mean there isn’t any food waste.

Waipā District Council’s waste reduction manager, Sally Fraser, says Foodprint is a win-win solution for the hospitality sector and customers and aligns perfectly with the waste reduction targets of the Waipā District Council. advice.

“Foodprint allows our local restaurants to save money from food that would have been thrown away and it gives our residents the opportunity to purchase food at a fraction of the regular price while supporting the local.”

On why she founded Foodprint, Garvey says she’s always been interested in the impact of food systems on climate change.

Foodprint founder Michal Garvey (left) and Waikato Regional Councilor and Climate Action Committee Chair Jennifer Nickel at Demi Urgos.  Photo / Provided
Foodprint founder Michal Garvey (left) and Waikato Regional Councilor and Climate Action Committee Chair Jennifer Nickel at Demi Urgos. Photo / Provided

“I used to work for Hello Fresh in London and in hospital when I was younger where I had to throw food myself, so I know how painful it is.

“I wanted to go to work knowing that I can have an impact and encourage others to do something good too.”

Food rescue organizations like Hamilton’s Kaivolution see Foodprint as an ally, Garvey says.

“I love the work done by food rescuers and I am in contact with the main food rescue organizations in the areas where we work… We are all working towards the same goal of zero food waste to landfill.

“For the most part, the foods sold through Foodprint are foods that food relief cannot take. Often they are refrigerated foods or foods that need to be eaten the same day. Or smaller portions than they can’t collect logistically.”

To download the Foodprint app, click here.

To learn more about food waste in New Zealand, click here.

About Kristina McManus

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