Restaurants and cafes throughout South Derbyshire are being urged to give leftovers a new lease of life - by donating them to charities and worthy causes.
The new initiative, currently being pioneered by South Derbyshire District Council, asks businesses not to throw unsold or unwanted food in the bin, in the hope of helping the needy.
The idea is the brainchild of South Derbyshire District Council as part of its ongoing Waste less, Save more scheme which is asking local eateries to make it a New Year’s resolution to send any surplus food to charities and community groups.
Councillor Peter Watson, chairman of environmental and development services at South Derbyshire District Council, said: "This is a fantastic way for businesses to drive down food waste and give something back to the community in the process.
"It makes no sense to throw away leftover food when there are people out there who would benefit enormously from it.
"Everybody wins here. We hope that this initiative helps bring people from all walks of life together throughout the year."
Free advice will be given by environmental health experts at the district council to ensure donations are safe to eat and fit for purpose while help will also be given identifying groups and people who stand to benefit, and getting the food to them. This includes families on low incomes and the homeless.
The campaign comes after the council collected unsold food from the popular International Food and Drink Festival in Swadlincote and donated it to Bank House, a charity supporting adults with mental health problems across South Derbyshire.
Donations included bread, noodles, coleslaw, hog roast meat, curry, cakes, cheese and potato pies, scotch eggs, fish fingers, chips and an array of salads.
Bank House manager Jon Shillabeer said: "The donation was an amazing boost for the charity, helping to feed more than 50 people over two days. Any businesses that think they can contribute to this initiative should – it can help to make such a difference."
Any businesses looking to get involved should telephone Leah Reed on 01283 228780.