New app offers food to those in need

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More leftover meals can now go to go to people in need thanks to a new collaboration between Foodbank and Y Waste.

Foodbank is a food-relief organisation and Y Waste is a smartphone app that launched in January. The food will come from leftover meals at food outlets.

500 outlets

Y Waste enables people to find and buy discounted food that hasn’t sold by the end of the day. The app already has more than 500 registered outlets nationally, including Sumo Salad, Sushi Hub, Roll’d and Muffin Break. More are coming on board every day, says Y Waste.

The company also says many food merchants indicated that, as well as selling the meals at reduced prices, they wanted to offer them, free, to people in need.

Y Waste then approached Foodbank to create a way for local charities to give to people seeking food relief. It was first trialled in an inner-Sydney suburb.

“Accessing the short-life prepared food generated by cafés and quick-serve restaurants has always been logistically challenging for the food-rescue sector,” Foodbank Australia CEO Brianna Casey said.

“Y Waste removes the barriers and enables the meals to go straight into the hands of people who need them.

“Not only is the food fresh and high quality, but there’s plenty of variety. This gives food-insecure people choice and dignity in obtaining the help they need to feed themselves and their families.”

How it works

With the help of a local Foodbank-registered charity, those in need sign up to the Y Waste app using a special code. They can then select from the meals on offer. Last, they collect the meal from the food outlet at a certain time by showing their voucher.

According to Y Waste founder Ian Price, the interest from food merchants has been overwhelming.

“Ninety per cent of the food outlets we’ve spoken to want to donate meals in their communities,” he said. “The indication is that over half of all the meals offered through Y Waste will end up with people who can’t afford to buy them.”