The team behind Hampers of Hope in Griffith have been awarded the 2021 Environmental Citizen Award for their role in reducing food wastage.
Co-ordinator Tennille Valensisi received the award taking the moment to acknowledge and thank the support of their donation partners and the Griffith community.
"It's very exciting to be acknowledged once again but we wouldn't be able to do these hampers without the support of our donation partners, they are the backbone of our project," Mrs Valensisi said.
"If we didn't live in such a giving community we wouldn't be able to do what we do. I think the acknowledgement goes to them."
In a year that saw their services needed more than ever, the Griffith food charity was faced in 2020 with losing 85 per cent of their volunteers due to COVID restrictions. However, with tremendous support from the wider community, they pulled through managing still to deliver meals to vulnerable elderly, school breakfast clubs, church groups, Griffith refuges and individuals in the community experiencing hardship.
During the year they also helped source and deliver water, food and personal care packages to the NSW and Victorian bushfire victims and drought affected areas.
Each year Australia wastes around 7.3 million tonnes of food - this wastage equals about 300kg per person or one in five bags of groceries. Food waste accounts for more than five per cent of Australia's greenhouse gas emissions.
Hampers of Hope rescues food from markets, farmers, supermarkets and businesses that would otherwise go to landfill, this food is then redistributed throughout the local community in the form of food hampers. In a single day volunteers collect more than 435 kilograms of food and create more than 45 hampers, which can provide 870 individual meals per day to members of the disadvantaged community.