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Jakarta food donation programme takes leftovers from lavish weddings

Jakarta food donation programme takes leftovers from lavish weddings

In the slums of Jakarta, Indonesia’s poor are getting a taste of how the other half live thanks to a new programme that aims to take a bite out of its mammoth food-waste problem.

Called Blessing To Share, the service supplies leftover wedding dishes to some of the poorest members of society in the sprawling capital.

Even as it struggles with poverty and malnutrition, the South-East Asian nation bins more edible food per person than any other country except Saudi Arabia, according to an Economist Intelligence Unit survey last year.

Indonesia’s 260 million citizens each throw out an average of almost 300kg of food annually, ahead of the United States in third spot, the survey said.

The country’s food waste problem can be partly chalked up to local hospitality, which calls for ample helpings at all celebrations.

Hosts often err on the side of abundance, and many hungry revellers’ eyes are bigger than their stomachs – meaning lots of uneaten food.

Globally, about 30% of food produced every year is tossed out or spoiled – about 1.3 billion tonnes – which translates into some US$1tril (RM4tril) in economic costs, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Association.

Blessing To Share

Since starting in November, about 50 weddings have participated in Blessing To Share, with about 1.45 tonnes of food collected.

That’s where a Blessing To Share comes in.

“There are lots of weddings in Indonesia and lots of extra food,” said programme founder Astrid Paramita.

“And there are lots of hungry people unfortunately, so this programme is trying to close that gap between the rich and needy.”

So far the programme is fairly limited, but Parmita has big plans and hopes to expand to other cities and also start sourcing edibles from company meetings and conferences.

Since starting in November, about 50 weddings have participated in the programme with about 1.45 tonnes of food collected for distribution through a local food bank.

For 60-year-old scavenger Efendi, getting a meal from one couple’s lavish nuptials across town was a welcome surprise.“I didn’t expect this – suddenly I’m getting free food,” he said. — AFP

App sells leftover food, saves environment in a delicious way

App sells leftover food, saves environment in a delicious way

Stores and restaurants lose money when they can’t sell all their food. People like saving a buck or two when they grab a bite. Yet, these two seemingly complementary desires don’t always align.

According to estimates from the United Nations, about a third of all food products and meals made worldwide end up in the rubbish heap.

One app is looking to solve the problem by connecting hungry consumers with restaurants looking to offload extra product: Users of Karma can buy leftover food at half price.

The service recently expanded to London after finding success in Sweden, where the start-up is partnered with more than 1,000 restaurants and grocery stores. Several London eateries have already signed on.

Users pay for their food through the app using a card, making pick-up a breeze: All they have to do is show up to the restaurant, where the food is waiting with their name on it, grab the meal and head off.

London is the perfect market, says Karma co-founder Elsa Bernadotte. The British capital “has an established food culture, is highly digitalised and is growing ever more environmentally conscious.”

Similar apps by other developers also exist in the British market. – dpa

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