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SOS: Creating Solution for Food Waste Problem

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In a life where there are a number of people who have to starve and can’t afford to eat, it’s pathetic to see how much food waste is being thrown away. According to FAO, around one-third of food produced on a global scale is lost in the production phase or wasted which is equal to 1.3 billion tons. It could be enough to feed every undernourished individual in the world. 

Food is wasted in some different ways:

  • Fresh produce deviates from what is considered normal in terms of size, shape, and color.
  • Left-overs.
  • Food close to the expiration date.

Food waste is not only a social and humanitarian problem, it’s also an environmental one. When we waste food, it means we also waste the water and energy it takes to grow, harvest, and transport. Food waste also produces methane-a greenhouse gas. Everyone has to play a role in reducing food waste, reducing food waste is critical to achieve Sustainable Development Goals 2 (End Hunger) and 12 (Ensure Sustainable Consumption and Production Pattern).

There are plenty of actions that we can do to reduce food waste: shop smarter, freeze, deliver to those in need, and compost. Shop smarter, freeze, and composting might be easier for individuals to do, but delivering to those in need requires more effort. It is easier to do in a team. Our Act Global team had a chance to meet Chef Delmi from SOS (Scholars of Sustenance) at Lala Land kitchen where we got to know more about SOS. SOS is a food rescue foundation founded by Bo H. Holmgreen. With the global office located in North Carolina, United States, this foundation started in Bangkok and now has an Indonesian branch in Bali. SOS has 4 kitchens in Bali located in Sanur, Uluwatu, Canggu, and Ubud.

SOS rescues food surplus from hotels and restaurants and delivers the food to those in need in the village with the help of the volunteers and also in collaboration with banjar coordinator. By collecting food surplus, SOS helps to prevent the food from becoming a waste and is able to help people in need. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, SOS in Bali collected about 400-450 kg food surplus daily, but due to the pandemic and hotel occupation rate is so low, there is no food surplus, therefore now SOS has been starting its garden. Not only ready to eat food, SOS also delivers staple food. 

SOS mainly works with the help of volunteers. To join the voluntary activities in SOS, the candidate has to fill a form and choose the volunteering schedule as they set a limited number to make it easier to work. There are 3 schedules:

  • Preparation and cooking (7-8 people),
  • Packaging (7-8 people),
  • Distribution (usually the banjar coordinator takes the food for distribution, or the volunteers distribute them, there is no number of people set for this schedule).

If you are interested to volunteer with SOS, you can contact them from Instagram or email:

Written by: Agnes Irawati

Translation by: Nevy Pangestika

Pictures: SOS Indonesia Instagram

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