Some of those who have worked on the project are (from the left) Karoline Finstad Vold and project manager Gry Bondø in Hamar municipality, and Mona Nilsen and Sigrid Møyner Hohle from NORSUS. Photo: Monica Persson
Large quantities of food are disposed in the care sector. Food waste can be significantly reduced by adjusting orders for the individual resident better, increasing the employee's competence in food and serving, and ensuring proper management support. These findings were among the results of a project NORSUS completed for Hamar municipality.
The project "Reduction in food waste in the Care Sector in Hamar municipality" is financed by Hamar municipality and supported by the Norwegian Environment Agency's climate grant scheme, Klimasats. Hamar established the project to map and reduce food waste at a nursing home and two care homes in the municipality.
Measuring was done before and after the implementation of specific measures. They showed a food waste reduction of 31 percent from measuring point 1 to measuring point 3 in total for all sections and kitchens. Estimates based on the measurements show that this corresponds to 5.8 tonnes less food wasted annually for the participating units and kitchens. In monetary value, it amounts to almost 250.000 NOK saved, and greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by 11.6 tonnes CO2equivalents. Nevertheless, much food waste remains - the last measuring point showed that nearly 13 tonnes tonnes of edible food were still wasted annually. These numbers are uncertain estimates, however, partly due to some missing data.
Reports from the employees said it was meaningful and awareness-raising to participate in the project measuring food waste. Some also reported that they adopted the behaviour making them more aware at home. Experiences and results from this project may be transferrable to other institutions within the health and care sector in Hamar municipality.