NEXT time you clean out the kitchen cupboard or the restaurant cool room, you could help feed the homeless, rather than bulk out the bin.
The Coffs Coast may be an area of socio-economic disadvantage but avoiding food waste has not yet become a priority for restaurants, clubs and shops.
NSW Minister for the Environment Frank Sartor told delegates at the 2010 Waste Management Conference in Coffs Harbour last week that 800,000 tonnes of food was binned every year by households and a further 300,000 tonnes was tossed out by businesses like restaurants, catering companies and clubs.
Joan Howlett, the pastoral care worker with Coffs Harbour Uniting Church Soup Kitchen, which feeds the homeless lunch each week day and provides weekend food packages, said yesterday they received no donations from restaurants or clubs.
Mrs Howlett said many businesses quoted occupational health and safety concerns when declining to donate food.
This is in spite of five-year-old changes to the law intended to discourage waste.