Food rescue app take off ‘slow’

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‘‘GREAT SCHEME’’: Rebecca Kershaw of Taste Cafe posts left over scones and muffins on the free app.
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Mid Canterbury cafe operators hope more people sign up to a free app designed to minimise food waste.

The New Zealand Foodprint app went live in September last year but has been slow to take off in Mid Canterbury.

Cafes on board are Taste Cafe, Riverside Foodbar and Cafe Time.

Eateries use the app to post unsold food for discounted prices at the end of their business day. Customers receiving notifications buy the food in the app and then collect.

Taste Cafe owner operator Rebecca Kershaw said it was ‘‘a great scheme’’.

‘‘It’s to reduce some waste across the planet and get a wee bit of return for something we are not going to use,’’ she said.

She mostly posted one or two scones or muffins, with a 60 per cent discount. Purchasers picked them up the next day.

‘‘We never use scones or muffins after they are fresh on the day, so if we can get a return on those, at least it pays for the food cost itself.’’

However, often the few items posted did not sell.

‘‘I think it’s just the awareness of it. It’s quite slow in Ashburton.’’

Cafe Time posts items such as sandwiches and pies.

Operator Lisa Stringer said she joined as it not only saved food wastage but also helped people out in the cost of living crisis.

‘‘It doesn’t always sell, then we just throw it out. I don’t think people know about it to be honest.’’

Riverside Foodbar owner operator Robyn Wall said she generally posted ‘‘mystery bags’’ costing $7.50. The bags had a minimum of $15 worth of product in them, such as sandwiches and rolls. She would often add in any left-over hot food for free.

‘‘I would rather give it to people than throw it away, most people are really appreciative,’’ Wall said.

‘‘It would be good if more people knew about it.’’

Foodprint founder and owner Michal Garvey, in Auckland, said the app had proved popular in Mid Canterbury, with hundreds of people having signed up.

The social enterprise made money by taking a small commission from the eateries on each of the items they sold.

Garvey said there were not as many people having signed up in Ashburton as some of the larger centres, however that was due to the town being smaller than those areas.

‘‘In both a cost of living and climate crisis, there is no good reason to waste food,’’ she said.