Modelling and increasing channel capacities in food surplus redistribution

The Hungarian Pilot Working Platform has initiated and started executing a new pilot project in May 2017. The goal of the project “Broadening the bridge” is to model the total cost of redistribution within the “redistribution supply chain” including food banks and redistribution partner organisations, calculate the potential return on investment in case of additional funding and look at possible funding sources, especially concentrating the existing resources in the social care system such as using the existing (and maybe not 100% used) capacities and potential funding sources such as the EU FEAD program.

When speaking about food surplus redistribution we often take food banks as “unlimited capacity” organisations. Food waste becoming a central topic on the political agenda both in the EU and several EU countries. Media is also dealing frequently with the issue of food waste, so more and more companies from the food chain start offering their edible surplus for social purposes.

Food banks and other organisations taking part in the redistribution process usually offer the food free of charge to the people in need, therefore the cost of redistribution has to be financed from several resources. Financing is usually based on financial support (donations) from several private and public sources, but these sources are not “automatically” increasing in line with the increase of food volume.

Redistribution organisations already face a significant lack of resources delaying or scattering the redistribution activities. This problem will probably become more serious in the near future and will create a bottleneck for the whole second level of the food waste pyramid.

The main partner in the project is the Ministry of Human Capacities of Hungary, who is in charge of all social affairs in Hungary, including the strategic management of the social care networks as well as the management of the Hungarian operational program of the FEAD Program.

The project is therefore just in the cross-section of the food waste domain where environmental and social interests are fully matching, and a private-public cooperation is fully possible. The knowledge and networks of the Ministry in the social care domain can very well matched with the network of HFA in the food chain and the project team therefore can create a good liaison between all interested parties.