LOCAL food waste campaigners Hidden Harvest are getting zesty with their newest movement to tackle food waste in the Illawarra.

‘When Life Gives You Lemons’ is the latest project by the not-for-profit organisation, which is aiming to bring excess citrus products from the trees of local growers to communal crates available for public consumption.

The three-month program, which began on May 22, will see volunteers from the organisation picking and collecting fruit from local growers and leaving them at crates located in Wollongong and surrounding areas.

Program coordinator, Sophie Lewandowski is hopeful that both the public and the participating venues will benefit from this initiative, with the goal of raising awareness about the amount of fruit which is wasted during this season. She hopes it will help people actively reduce their impact.

“These boxes will be strategically placed in food shop stores that already have the facilities and staff to monitor the state of the fruits, as well as a customer base that would utilise the opportunity to donate or take saved citrus fruits,” she said.

One of the donation crates for When Life Gives You Lemons, located at Green Connect in Port Kembla

The initiative is in conjunction with the NSW Government’s 2017 campaign ‘Love Food Hate Waste’, which supports eligible organisations to deliver projects that help households or businesses reduce the amount of edible food they waste. According to the NSW Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) households in NSW throw away more than 800,000 tonnes of edible food each year, amounting to an average of $3,800 per household.

Berbel Franse, founder of Hidden Harvest, said: “As a not-for-profit, we aim to upskill our community by giving them the tools to tackle food waste and fight for a sustainable food future.

“Through this campaign we hope to activate ‘More Taste Less Waste’ decisions in people’s everyday routines. We will also be hosting a number of pop-up events to support the ongoing campaign.”

Donation crates are located at UOW Wellbeing, UOW Unilife, UOW Espresso Warriors, The Botanic Gardens, Flame Tree Community Food Coop Thirroul, Green Connect in Port Kembla and The Source Bulk Foods Wollongong