From left, Cllr Beca Brown, Banc Bwyd Llanrug; Llyr Gruffydd MS; Cllr Steve Collings, Bwyd Da Bangor; Peter and Tia Walker Fareshare; Cllr Berwyn Parry Jones, Cwm y Glo; Liws, Pantri Pesda; Megan Thorman, Y Dref Werdd, Blaenau Ffestiniog; and Dewi Roberts, Pantri Pesda.
Plaid Cymru's North Wales MS Llyr Gruffydd has called for the extension of an innovative scheme that keeps surplus food from landfill and ensures it goes to help people in need.
The Surplus with Purpose Cymru Fund comes to an end at the end of this month after redistributing almost 1200 tonnes of food to charities and community groups.
Mr Gruffydd raised the matter in a question to rural affairs minister Lesley Griffiths in the Senedd chamber: "The work done in the past year by this fund has helped small and medium enterprises to offset the cost of donating food to the scheme. It prevents food waste and the creation of thousands of tonnes of CO2 while at the same time enabling charities and community groups to share the food in their local communities. There is potential for this scheme to continue and to expand significantly if it has some certainty in terms of funding in the coming years.
"Food waste is a major problem and this is a simple but innovative project that does good while reducing harm. From speaking to community groups in Gwynedd that distribute surplus food from Fareshare every week, it's clear that this kind of project is important to the long-term sustainability of the foodshare project.
"There is scope to involve the farming community in this venture as well as the larger supermarkets that have surplus stock. That's why I'm calling for the Welsh Government to make a commitment to funding this fund over a longer-term period so that it can support even more people.
"At a time when food prices are soaring and the cost-of-living crisis is hitting hard, keeping food out of landfill on putting it on people's tables is a no-brainer."
Mr Gruffydd met volunteers in Gwynedd who get regular weekly deliveries via the Fareshare scheme to distribute in various communities across the region.
Councillor Beca Brown, of Llanrug, helps run one in her village and said the help provided was invaluable: "The scheme has gone from three or four across the North before lockdown to about 40 now. We're able to tell people who take the food from us that this is helping to keep food from being landfilled or dumped. It's important that people understand they're helping to reduce food waste rather than relying on charity. I can see what this means during our weekly visits and it's important that it continues, especially as the cost of living crisis is hitting more and more people."
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