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OzHarvest saves untouched plane food from airlines to help local charities on the ground

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Food untouched by passengers flying first class is coming off flights and being transported to those less fortunate in Brisbane, as part of a charity initiative to reduce food waste.

OzHarvest Brisbane has started working with airlines flying in and out of Brisbane, collecting uneaten sandwiches, apples, muesli bars and biscuits.

The food charity was founded in 2004 and rescues quality excess food from commercial outlets across the country for delivery, direct and free of charge, to more than 200 charities.

Queensland state manager Cameron Hickey said a lot of the food came from flights that were cancelled or changed.

"We collect the food that didn't end up on the flight or did end up on the flight but hasn't been opened," he said.

"Pretty much anything you're seeing on an airline is something we can redistribute, as long as it's still in a fit state to eat.

"There's many delicious meals in first class that aren't eaten, which often means there's excess food along the supply chain."

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OzHarvest Brisbane state manager Cameron Hickey (centre) hopes to help airlines reduce their food wastage.Up to 400kg of plane food saved each day

The group has been collecting between 200 and 400 kilograms each day within the Brisbane Airport precinct.

"We have one or two vehicles daily heading out to collect the food," Mr Hickey said.

"Within two hours of us picking up the food, it's then delivered to a charity for the homeless or someone doing it tough.

"Sometimes it's really funny when we drop some of the first class food to the charities as they think we're kidding."

To help airlines work at cutting down their food waste, OzHarvest tracked the food saved from the airlines including quantities, types and on what dates.

"With that data many of the airlines have seen a drop in excess food and are tightening their food waste," Mr Hickey said.

 

"Our aim is to show them where the gaps are, and if we can help tidy up airlines and help them get more efficient, then we'll move onto another industry and go there."

In the near future, OzHarvest Brisbane hopes to collect more hot meals from airline kitchens and expand into working with the airport terminal food vendors.

"There's work we can do within the airport, so we plan to organise some centralised collections that we can move to the charities," Mr Hickey said.

"The kitchens that produce the airlines' meals have excess, but it's harder for us to get it on and off our trucks.

"The Brisbane Airport is keen work with us further to make it a lot tidier and that will involve testing and trialling things in the future."

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Redistributed food ready to be dispatched to charities in Brisbane.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-25/ozharvest-saves-unwanted-airline-food-for-charities/7657050

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