City of Yarra: Food Know How Regional Program

This project designed, developed and delivered Australia’s first collaborative food waste avoidance program to residents in Melbourne, Victoria. It provided residents with tools and support to take action to reduce avoidable food waste in their household. Across the five partner councils the project recruited 1,115 address verified participants. There were an additional 204 residents who either had a PO Box or did not want to provide their postal address who were not counted as ‘official’ for the recruitment numbers.

The Food Know How program was designed and delivered to provide residents with the information and support they need to take action to reduce the amount of food waste discarded in the kerbside bin. It particularly targeted avoidable food waste, however some components challenged what is unavoidable food waste.

The program increased participant’s knowledge and ability to avoid creating food waste from the onset by focusing the program engagement around the ‘front end’ steps to take to avoid creating waste, that is, menu planning, food purchasing, and food storing and cooking with leftovers as this is where most food is wasted. In addition, this focus does not require specialist equipment, and saves both money and time.  Food recycling, including composting, worm farming etc., is encouraged for unavoidable food waste such as peelings, cores etc.

Some of the key achievements of the program included:

  • 22 cooking workshops were held over the five participating councils with 382 people attending
  • Five composting workshops held over three of the five participating councils, with 100 attendees
  • Four demonstrations held at festivals with in excess of 100 people watching each demonstration
  • Three screenings of ‘Just Eat It’ movies were held with 220 people attending
  • Over 1,000 contacts with participants at all events were made

The Food Know How project boosted the community’s knowledge about getting the most out of fresh food, reducing and avoiding food waste and saving money through smart food planning, shopping and storage. This was achieved by providing accessible information, education, waste audits and deep engagement through workshops.

Project resources

  • Food Know How MF R3 Final Report - Yarra Report 1 MB

    This final report outlines the outcomes, findings, project highlights and recommendations for the Metro Fund Round 3 'Food Know How' regional project. This project was led by Yarra City Council in partnership Darebin, Maribyrnong, Moreland and Whittlesea councils. The program increased the participants' knowledge and ability to reduce the amount of food waste they discard in the kerbside bin.

Last updated: 08/04/2021