Reducing food waste while helping the needy
“By volunteering with Stop Food Waste in Lithuania, I get to work with other great volunteers, while contributing to social justice,” says Daiva Petelienė. She is one of the volunteers working with a project supported by the Lithuanian NGO Fund that aims to reduce food waste.
Every year 90 million tonnes of food is wasted in Europe, according to the European Commission. This number could rise to 126 million tonnes by 2020, if action is not taken. To help address this problem, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway have set aside more than €110 000 to a project aiming to reduce food waste by donating food that otherwise would have been thrown away. In addition to delivering surplus food to those in need, the project also includes awareness raising activities as well as creating and advocating for legislative initiatives and the production of a documentary on food waste.
Daiva first got involved in the project three years ago when she was looking for something to do for her holidays. She came across information about the food waste project, and thought it looked interesting. The reason that she is still volunteering three years later is twofold, she explains.
“First of all, everyone involved in the project is really passionate about what they are doing, and it is a lot of fun to work with them. Second, by volunteering I feel like I am doing my little part to contribute to social justice. The issue of food waste is not an issue that many people necessarily are very aware of. Still, I think we will succeed one day, and I want to be there when that happens.”
Daiva likes her volunteering experience so much that she has encouraged others to join as well.
"I believe there is no better way to inspire others than showing them what you are passionate about, so I am very happy that after having seen me doing this, my family has started volunteering as well,“ she explains.
Through the Funds for Non-Governmental Organisations, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway have allocated about €160 million to strengthen civil society in the 16 beneficiary countries of Grants. This makes the funds one of the biggest funding schemes for civil society in Central Europe. The support aims both to strengthen the capacity of the sector itself as well as support non-governmental organisations in their efforts to promote human rights, democracy and equality.
Stop Food Waste in Lithuania!
Charity and support foundation Food bank
Type of Institution:
European Parliament warned in Resolution (2011/2175(INI) that unless active intervention measures are applied the food waste will rise by 40 per cent by 2020 and amount to 126 million tonnes per year in EU. Project aims at fostering active citizenship through mobilizing local communities for raising public awareness of food waste. It also aims to help NGOs to find efficient solutions on reducing food waste, increasing surplus food collection and delivering to those in need. “Food Bank” shall create a virtual map of surplus food and advocate it through 10 regional meetings with decision-makers as well as complimentary workshops on fighting the food waste at local level. Legislative initiatives on food waste reduction shall be developed and advocated. The documentary on food waste in Lithuania will be created and aired on national TV stations and demonstrated in high schools. Finally, 10 mobile exhibitions on food waste will be organised all over the country. Target groups: decision makers in food industry, retail and catering sectors, national and local government, children, youth and society at large. Beneficiaries: NGOs, vulnerable groups in need of food aid.