OzHarvest’s Dollar Diner Program

Posted by on September 25, 2019

Add extra purpose to your next lunch or dinner with OzHarvest’s Dollar Diner program. This is a simple concept where restaurants, cafes and hotels can help OzHarvest deliver meals to Australians in need just by adding a $1 donation to each bill. Easy! It’s completely optional and customers can choose to increase the amount or remove completely.

For every $1 donated, OzHarvest can deliver two meals to people in need. With over 4 million Australians relying on food relief each year, your small change can make a big difference!

Dollar Diner supporters include Dead Ringer (Sydney), Soi38 (Adelaide) and Crowne Plaza (Perth). Funds raised from Dollar Dining will help keep OzHarvest’s wheels turning and make sure good food is not wasted and gets to those who need it most.

Please contact Lisa Dainty to get signed up! [email protected]

Faces of OzHarvest: Rob Sloan

Posted by on September 17, 2019

You have supported OzHarvest through your restaurant Dead Ringer and you’re also one of our awesome volunteers. Tell us why you have chosen to support OzHarvest and what it means to you?We’ve been supporters of OzHarvest for close to 3 years at Dead Ringer, we apply a voluntary $1 donation to all bills to our diners, which we in turn donate to OzHarvest. When we opened the restaurant we wanted to ensure that all our produce was ethically sourced and that we minimised food waste to the best of our abilities. I see OzHarvest as an organisation that works on two fronts, not only are they saving valuable food from landfill, they’re also providing meals to the food insecure. Last year I decided to “put my money where my mouth is” so to speak and don a yellow volunteer t-shirt myself.

Can you describe one of your personal highlights in being part of the OzHarvest family?

There’s been so many! From the overwhelming positivity received from the public when working on the stall at Bondi Markets to seeing my snow pea seeds grow in the OzHarvest community garden. As you’d imagine, the CEO Cookoff™ was a real highlight too, getting to see first hand the people that OzHarvest help and just being able to be part of such amazing community engagement.

Why do you think it’s important to give back personally and professionally?

2019 has been something of a sabbatical for me from my daily work commitments. I’ve dialled back my contact at venues to concentrate on some new ventures. Volunteering has been a real lesson in humility and has introduced me to people I wouldn’t usually come into contact with in my daily life. Being part of the yellow army has been profound and given me a renewed interest in promoting sustainable and progressive food policies at our venues. I’d encourage everyone to get inducted and join the team, it’s been nothing but positive for me.

Good Fortune at Brisbane Night Noodle Markets

Posted by on August 15, 2019

OzHarvest staff and volunteers were out in full force at the Brisbane Night Noodle Markets in August. Thanks to the generosity of market visitors, stallholders and volunteers, we raised enough money to deliver over 28,000 meals to people in need. Plus, market stall holders also donated an amazing 416kg of beautiful fresh produce, gourmet dairy, cooked meals and much more to OzHarvest.

In total, the proceeds from the Brisbane Night Noodle Markets means OzHarvest can deliver the equivalent of 29,748 meals to charities across Brisbane and prevent 18,577kg of greenhouse gas emissions from entering the atmosphere.

This event would not have been possible, let alone the knockout success that it was, without the help of our yellow army of volunteers! So many smiles and helping hands meant we were able to bring a big and bold presence to the event. Alongside our awesome, ongoing OzHarvest volunteers, we want to also thank our teams of corporate volunteers who generously lent their time throughout the event.

OzHarvest Welcomes IHG to the Family

Posted by on August 15, 2019

We are excited to announce IHG as a new OzHarvest Awesome Partner. IHG manages and franchises more than 5,700 hotels, including some of the world’s best-known hotel brands such as InterContinental, voco, Hotel Indigo, Crowne Plaza and the Holiday Inn brand family.

IHG’s partnership with OzHarvest is the latest step in their commitment to fight food waste and to give back to the community. The two year partnership will mean OzHarvest can provide an additional 200,000 meals to help feed people in need.

As a leader in the hospitality sector, IHG’s global focus to build hospitality skills will also see them support OzHarvest’s Nourish program by providing 20 scholarships. Nourish provides free training to at-risk youth in a Certificate II in Hospitality or Kitchen Operations.

Leanne Harwood, Managing Director of IHG (Australasia & Japan) said of the partnership: 

“I am so proud and excited that IHG has become an OzHarvest Awesome Partner. We understand that tourism and hospitality has an impact on the environment and the communities in which we operate, so we put a great deal of investment around two of our global responsibility pillars: waste reduction and hospitality skills training. That’s why OzHarvest is a fantastic partner for us. Through their food rescue programs and our mutual partnership with Winnow technology, we can ensure we are diverting as much waste from landfill as possible, and OzHarvest’s Nourish program enables us to help create more sustainable communities through hospitality skills training. Together, there is so much we can do to make a positive difference in the world.”

Winnow Solutions is a technology that measures, monitors and dramatically reduces food waste by giving kitchens the information necessary to drive change within their organisation. IHG hotels will soon be working in partnership with Winnow, ForPurposeCo. and OzHarvest to implement Winnow technology into their kitchens.

The OzHarvest Food Truck Treats Rough Edges to Lunch

Posted by on August 15, 2019

August 4-10 was National Homelessness Week, and the OzHarvest Food Truck was out in the community serving over 150 hot and nourishing lunches at Rough Edges in Sydney. Guests at Rough Edges, a community centre that supports people experiencing homelessness and marginalisation, were treated to a choice of beef and lamb ragu, butter vegetable curry and a chocolate brownie for dessert – all made specially for the event by OzHarvest’s team of chefs. Luckily for Rough Edges’ evening patrons, around 50 serves were left-over from lunch and saved for them to enjoy as well.

The OzHarvest Food Truck team were joined by two volunteers from our National Food Rescue Partner, Woolworths: Katherine Stone and Nicole Byrnes. Nicole Byrnes said of the experience: “It was a real pleasure to be able to serve a meal to people who needed it and really appreciated it. I am so proud to work for a company that allows us time to support our community. What a great partnership between OzHarvest and Woolworths.”

This was the first appearance of the OzHarvest Food Truck at Rough Edges, but the centre is also a regular receiver of food deliveries from OzHarvest. Rough Edges team leader Ryan Naoum said, “The food that OzHarvest provides not only nourishes, it provides people with a great space to be able to talk and connect with each other. This is what we try to provide at Rough Edges, and this is what OzHarvest food allows us to do.”

Homelessness Week is an annual week across Australia to raise awareness of people experiencing homelessness, the issues they face and the action needed to achieve enduring solutions. In 2019, Homelessness Week was the 4th -10th August around the theme “Housing Ends Homelessness’’.

If you would like to help us support organisations like Rough Edges, head here to donate to OzHarvest.

New Food App To Help Nourish Communities In Regional Australia

Posted by on June 3, 2019

OzHarvest is launching a new digital technology solution – the OzHarvest Food App – to tackle the hunger crisis and prevent food waste in regional communities. The app is the first of its kind in Australia and is part of OzHarvest’s mission to address the national target to halve food waste by 2030 (in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.) 

Australia produces enough food to feed everyone, yet over four million Australians experience food insecurity each year, with regional areas hit the hardest as food relief is increasingly hard to access. Whilst OzHarvest is renowned for their bright yellow vans that rescue food in communities across Australia, the new Food App will focus on feeding those in locations where the vans cannot reach. 

OzHarvest Founder and CEO, Ronni Kahn said innovation has to be part of the solution for halving food waste and addressing the ever-growing hunger crisis that effects so many families each year. 

“I am staggered at how many people are still going hungry, whilst good food continually goes to waste. Within one community there can be a business throwing away perfectly edible food and just around the corner a charity is struggling to feed people in need. The OzHarvest Food App will help local communities support each other by connecting the two on a regular basis and make a tangible difference to people’s lives,” said Ronni. 

After a successful pilot with 70 Woolworths stores across the country, OzHarvest will be making the new app available to any business, small or large, to help grow their network of food donors across the country. It is expected to support an additional 600 charities by rescuing over 2,000 tonnes of food to provide an extra six million meals in the first year alone. 

Sharon Crook, CEO of local charity The Gathering in Humpty Doo near Darwin said before using the app it was very difficult to source a regular supply of fresh food. 

“Thanks to the OzHarvest Food App we are now able to deliver a range of fresh and healthy food to the local community, two more remote communities feeding over 30 families and the emergency accommodation in Humpty Doo. We now collect fresh fruit and veg regularly from our local Woolworths, and we even get meat which was a luxury before. It’s made such a big difference to people’s lives and I’ve seen people getting back on their feet, some are even volunteering to give back, it’s sparked a real sense of community.” 

Any local businesses with surplus food to donate or registered charities with capacity to collect the food should apply online at www.ozharvest.org/foodapp or call 1800 108 006 for more information. 

How does it work? 
The app connects local businesses and charities to facilitate donations on a regular and ongoing basis. Once a food donor is registered and a charity has been assigned to their store, there are three simple steps: 

1. The Food Donor enters details of surplus food 
2. A local charity receives a notification telling them about the food 
3. The charity collects the food 

The app is available on all Android and iOS compatible devices. 

OzHarvest Food App - how does it work

Faces of OzHarvest: Aon

Posted by on May 7, 2019

Aon and OzHarvest are celebrating one year in partnership, what are some of the highlights from the last 12 months?

Aon had an amazing first year partnering with OzHarvest and engaging our staff.

To kick off our partnership, the Aon Charitable Foundation donated its first annual donation of $50,000, then, the achievements just kept coming:

  • We welcomed and introduced OzHarvest to our staff through a series of lunch ’n learn information sessions around the country sharing with staff what OzHarvest do in the community and how we can all get involved. 
  • Aon’s Chief Operating Officer, Bill Hooper stepped up and not only raised nearly $10,000 for OzHarvest but participated in the CEO CookOff in February 2018, cooking with celebrity chefs and providing meals to those less fortunate in the community.
  • We volunteered with OzHarvest through a number of Van Delivery support roles for Aon’s Empower Results for Communities day.
  • Team Aon raised over $38,000 for our annual City2Surf participation in Sydney.
  • Aon’s Retirement Solutions donated $14,000 in lieu of a fee and also provided $6,500 pro bono work. 
  • To cap the year off, Aon organised a food drive for OzHarvest’s Christmas Food Appeal.

Collectively Aon and colleagues donated just over $120,000 enabling OzHarvest to deliver over 221,000 meals, save over 7,000kg of food from going to landfill and prevent more than 14,500 litres of greenhouse gas emissions.  And as a result, we are proud to have been escalated to ‘Awesome Partner’ status for 2019!

How did Aon discover OzHarvest?

The Aon Charitable Foundation focuses on delivering benefits to the community through a broad program involving direct financial support, fundraising and employee engagement at various levels.

The Foundation focuses on national charity partnerships in the four core areas of Healthcare; Welfare; Education and Environment.

We discovered OzHarvest and learned more about them during the review and tender process we conducted in 2017 for our Welfare partnership.

OzHarvest truly impressed us from the moment they walked in the door with their vibrant yellow presence, their passion and vitality for their work was impressive. This was then followed up by learning about the work they do rescuing food, connecting with communities and continuing to educate the public on how to nourish our country – WOW!

Discovering the ways our staff can engage with OzHarvest and the community was also key to developing Aon’s relationship, and so far we have definitely accomplished this.

Why is it important to have a partnership with purpose?

The aim of the Aon Charitable Foundation is to support and give back to the community by collectively making the most of Aon’s financial support, and to encourage our staff to give their time and expertise by volunteering.

Aon’s partnership with OzHarvest and their focus in the community to be Australia’s leading food rescue operation feeding people, aligns with Aon’s diverse network of offices and locations and enables our staff to engage with OzHarvest in various ways, and together make a positive impact.

A great example of purpose and engagement between our two organisations is evidenced by a group of keen Aon volunteers looking forward to supporting OzHarvest’s education program, NEST over the coming months.

NEST is OzHarvest’s national program teaching people in need the skills and knowledge to nurture themselves through healthier eating choices and food preparation through a series of hands-on cooking and nutrition workshops.

Aon’s support of OzHarvest and in particular the NEST program, will create greater opportunities for better physical and mental health for people doing it tough – through empowering them with new skills to cook delicious, nutritious and sustainable meals in their daily lives. It’s our chance for Aon to make a deeper impact for communities across the nation.

Faces of OzHarvest: Jo Cameron

Posted by on April 3, 2019

It’s no exaggeration to say that OzHarvest would not be where it is today without the ongoing and unwavering support of founding partner, Goodman Foundation. Lead by their CEO, Jo Cameron, the Goodman Foundation are an integral part of the OzHarvest family.

Q.  Goodman have supported OzHarvest since its humble beginnings in 2004.  Is this the longest partnership for Goodman?  Why do you think it works so well?

Goodman’s partnership with OzHarvest is one of the longest partnerships we have, and I believe we are one of OzHarvest’s first founding partners, so we’re both doing something right!

I think it works so well because we are a true partnership, we have the same values, we treat each other with respect and we’re focused on making a positive impact in the community. 

Like us, OzHarvest is a very innovative and fast-moving organisation while still feeling like a big family. Everyone that is associated with OzHarvest – whether it’s the team, partners, volunteers or recipients of meals and services – everyone is madly passionate about the cause and this is infectious.

Q.  Describe some of your personal highlights being part of the OzHarvest family?

Delivering OzHarvest’s purpose-built headquarters in our Alexandria estate a few years ago was a real highlight for me. Goodman not only contributed the warehouse space in one of our most high-value locations, we provided cash funding and worked closely with our suppliers and partners to deliver an amazing space from which OzHarvest could grow and positively impact the lives of thousands.

The huge project team included Team2, FDC, Perfect Pipes, Rawfire, Traffix, Mackenzie Group, Northrop, Site Image and Fresh Landscapes and to this day, I still feel so proud of the end result and of the collaboration of all of the organisations that worked with us to deliver this fantastic outcome which continues to give.

Q.  Why do you think it’s important for businesses to give back?

We believe everyone, everywhere, should be in equal reach of greatness and businesses that contribute to the community enable greatness to happen!

Through the Goodman Foundation, both our people and our properties are helping to improve quality of life in the communities in which we operate. We see ourselves as part of the community – after all, our spaces are workspaces for so many people – and we all know how much of our lives are spent at work!

As a part of the community, we are committed to greatness for the long-term and we choose to work with people and organisations that feel the same. We are empowering organisations like OzHarvest to create and deliver greatness through their programmes to make a difference to those in our community that need a helping hand.

The impact of working together is huge. Without Goodman’s support, OzHarvest could not have delivered over 100 million meals, helped 1,300 charities and saved 36,000 tonnes of food from landfill.

Telethon trust helps OzHarvest provide 200,000 meals to people in need

Posted by on April 2, 2019

OzHarvest is thrilled to be announced as one of the Channel 7 Telethon Trust’s new charity beneficiaries for 2019. Thanks to a $100,000 funding boost as part of the Telethon Trust’s annual grant program, OzHarvest will be able to deliver an additional 200,000 meals to vulnerable communities, families and children in Perth.  

OzHarvest WA State Manager, Jennifer Keen said the much needed new funding would help to bring on 20 new charity agencies, with at least five assisting with children from disadvantaged backgrounds and youth at risk.

“OzHarvest WA is thrilled to be a first time recipient of a Telethon Trust grant and is looking to share the love and food with many community organisations. We recognise that food is about caring, sharing, dignity and respect and hope that the delivery of fresh and nutritious food will help nourish those in need across Perth and the greater metropolitan area.”

“The competition for local funding is tougher than ever,“ said Ms Keen. “We know that difficult decisions had to be made by Channel 7 Telethon trustees, as demand for grants are at an all-time high and it’s important to support as many community organisations as possible.”

Following the announcement of the Telethon Trust grant application, OzHarvest has been able to bring on board the Port School Young Parent Centre (which provides educational and parental support for teenage age parents);  Cecil Andrew Clontarf Academy (which aims to improve the education, life skills and employment prospects of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men); and Swan City Youth Service (which aims to provide a one-stop shop for young people through education, recreational programs and a range of services). OzHarvest is also looking to extend its reach outside of the Perth metropolitan area.

OzHarvest WA rescued 1.2 tonnes of food last year and delivered 3.5 million meals to over 90 charities in the Perth area.

OzHarvest fundraising record will help deliver nearly six million meals

Posted by on March 27, 2019

Sydney’s Royal Hall of Industries was a buzz with energy, excitement, compassion and culinary delights as top chefs joined industry leaders to raise $2,726,769 at OzHarvest’s biggest ever CEO CookOff™. The venue was transformed into a 50-hat pop-up restaurant, serving a gourmet dinner to 1,500 special guests from vulnerable communities across Sydney. Topping the night off was live music from Daryl Braithwaite, who had the whole crowd on their feet rocking to Aussie anthem ‘The Horses’.

Ronni Kahn, OzHarvest Founder and CEO set the stakes high with a $3million target and was overwhelmed with the generosity of so many supporters on the night. “I can hardly believe it! The atmosphere was electric. This event is so much more than just a charity fundraiser, seeing so many smiles on the faces of people who often go unnoticed in everyday society is a highlight for me. It also gives business leaders the opportunity to shine with purpose as they give back in a personal and real way, and means that OzHarvest can now deliver over five million meals to help people in need.” 

The competitive nature of the industry bosses saw charity fundraising taken to a new level, as Peter Gavaghan, Managing Director APAC for IMC Trading and his team topped the bill with a whopping $213,000 raised. “What a great event! This is the first time IMC has participated and we loved every minute of it. The fundraising was a global team effort and our management team even flew in from Chicago and Amsterdam for the event. Our eyes were truly opened to the number of people needing food relief and we are so happy to have contributed enough for 426,000 meals.” 

Peter was closely followed by Tabcorp’s Adam Rytenskild and long-time OzHarvest supporter Adrian Cosenza, CEO Australian Orthopaedic Association. Competition was close amongst the corporate teams, with Atlassian, Tabcorp, Woolworths, Deloitte and PwC battling it out for final positions on the leaderboard. 

Top fundraising chef and OzHarvest ambassador, Neil Perry AM supported the event for the eighth year. “It’s such a big night for chefs as we rarely get the opportunity to all cook together. I love the kitchen camaraderie and the simple act of serving good food with respect and dignity, to people who often don’t know where their next meal is, is extremely meaningful.” 

The record amount will help keep the wheels of OzHarvest turning and provide over 5,245,260 meals to help feed people in need. You can still help OzHarvest reach their goal by donating here.