Faces of OzHarvest: Bayarmaa Amgalan

Posted by on September 25, 2020

During these difficult times, we have seen so many wonderful examples of true kindness and the giving spirit of the community. People are donating their money and time more than ever to give back and support those in need. One of our favourite examples is Bayarmaa – an international student from Mongolia studying in Australia. When COVID-19 hit, she lost her job and as an international student was not able to receive government support. Bayarmaa turned to food relief at the OzHarvest Hamper Hub in Darling Harbour, which distributes nutritious fresh food and dry goods to people doing it tough. To show her gratitude and pay it forward, Bayarmaa now volunteers for OzHarvest. We chatted to Bayarmaa about her experience and becoming a volunteer.

As an international student, how has the pandemic affected you?

When all this started happening, I was finishing the first year of my Masters degrees. At first, I lost one of my two jobs. Then my rosters became shorter, at one point I was working only three hours a week, meaning I wasn’t able to earn much money.

Around this time, my classes went 100% online and the university encouraged us to go back home and study online, but by then my country was not receiving anyone from abroad. Going back home wasn’t an option for me. 

How has OzHarvest and the Hamper Hubs helped you during this time?

The OzHarvest Hamper Hub helped me when I was not able to cover my basic needs. This meant a lot to me at the time as I didn’t need to spend much money on groceries, and that allowed me to cover other necessary costs.

Why did you decide to volunteer with OzHarvest, and when did you start?

The people who were working at the Darling Harbour Hamper Hub were so friendly and welcoming. After registering to receive food a few times, I said to myself, “I want to do something for them. I don’t just want take and take, I want to show my gratitude.” That day, I signed the form for volunteering, had my induction by the end of June and started volunteering in August!  

Have you enjoyed volunteering so far?

I do enjoy volunteering – I’ve even been telling my friends to join OzHarvest as volunteers! During the induction, when I learned more about OzHarvest’s mission, I was absolutely and totally hooked. I don’t like to waste food, and I always try to live sustainably, so volunteering with an organisation with a mission so relatable is such a great experience. Sometimes, I dream of starting a similar organisation when I go back home!

Local Heroes Nourishing Regional Australia

Posted by on September 23, 2020

Over the past decade, our incredible volunteers around the country have established eight regional chapters – rescuing and delivering food locally! Volunteering countless hours, spreading joy and love, and rescuing and delivering delicious, quality food, these amazing teams have provided much needed support to regional communities. In this time, their combined efforts have delivered an incredible 5,992,000 meals to vulnerable regional communities!

Here’s a quick round up of what our local heroes have achieved recently.

Sunshine Coast – OzHarvest Sunshine Coast reached their one million meal milestone earlier this year. This is a major achievement from Chapter Coordinator, Michele Lipner and her dedicated team of around 80 volunteers, who are currently supporting 44 charities on the Sunshine Coast. The team and their local food donors rallied during the bushfires and have been working relentlessly to help vulnerable groups, including international students during the pandemic. Next on the agenda is their 6th anniversary. Happy Birthday Sunshine Coast!

Coffs Harbour – Our wonderful chapter coordinator Julie Ferguson has achieved local recognition for her dedication to volunteering, as she was named 2020 Local Woman of the Year. Member for Coffs Harbour, Gurmesh Singh described her as “an unstoppable force for kindness” as she has worked tirelessly, along with her team of 40 volunteers running OzHarvest Coffs Harbour since 2014. The Coffs team also recently reached their one million meals milestone – a big congratulations to all!

Wagga – The team in Wagga have also been hard at work delivering much needed food relief to 17 charities in the Wagga region, with John Foord leading the charge. John was recently named Senior NSW Volunteer of the Year for the Riverina District in Wagga and won the All-Round Volunteer award, for which there were 118,000 nominations!  John started the OzHarvest Wagga Chapter eight years ago and has delivered more than 900,000 meals in the local community, along with his dedicated team of 25 volunteers. This award is well deserved – congratulations John!

Victor Harbour – When COVID-19 hit Australia, many volunteers in our Victor Harbor chapter had to step back. However, almost all have now returned, along with a couple of extra volunteers, led by Bronte Collins and have delivered more than 124,000 meals to people in need. Among the dedicated team of 13 volunteers is 94-year-old Jim Miles, who continues to give his time to help others.

Jim Miles, Bronte Collins and Bronwen Potter – OzHarvest Victor Harbor

Port Macquarie – Starting around ten years ago, OzHarvest Port Macquarie is our longest running chapter currently supporting 31 charities. Over the decade, the chapter has delivered more than 1.8 million meals to people in need throughout the community. This is an incredible achievement by our team of 12 volunteers who with the help of a very kind donation, will be proud owners of a brand-new refrigerated van in the next month! OzHarvest Port Macquarie are also looking for a passionate volunteer to lead their team.

Sapphire Coast – This was once run as a single operation spanning around 100km from north to south. Two years ago, the chapter was split to be more manageable for the coordinators and volunteers. Led by Rebeccah Norman, Sapphire Coast South has been affected by both bushfires and COVID-19, but has managed to keep rescuing food, despite diminished food resources and volunteers. Sapphire Coast North was severely impacted by the bushfires and had to put their operations on hold to allow the volunteer team to prioritise their own personal situations. The good news is that they are back under the leadership of Michael Palmer and a team of 10 volunteers, who have a newfound passion for food rescue!  Together, the Sapphire Coast chapters have delivered more than 232,000 meals!

Southern Highlands – One of our youngest chapters, OzHarvest Southern Highlands started around three years ago. It’s a small chapter but has great local food donors, who supply a regular source of rescued food and a huge injection of wonderful fresh produce which has helped feed those who have been affected by the bushfires and COVID-19. Led by Jenny O’Reagan and her team of 12 volunteers, they have delivered more than 223,000 meals!

Central Coast – Starting only in June of this year, our Central Coast chapter has already made a huge impact in the region. Led by Annika Stott and Luke McKelvey with a team of passionate local volunteers, they have already delivered more than 216,000 meals to people in need, supporting 15 charities on the Central Coast. This is an incredible achievement in such a small time – well done team Central Coast!

We want to say a great big thank you to all the hard-working chapter coordinators and their teams, whose tireless efforts ensure that good food gets to those who need it most. The countless hours and ongoing passion shown by each of these individuals truly embodies the OzHarvest spirit, without them we could not support many vulnerable people in regional communities.

Support OzHarvest by recycling your used bottles and cans!

Posted by on September 3, 2020

OzHarvest is one of the lucky charity partners in a new recycling campaign ‘Bottles Can Change Lives’ at any TOMRA Reverse Vending Machines in NSW, QLD and NT. When recycling bottles or cans at any participating Return and Earn (NSW) Containers for Change (QLD) or Container Deposit collection point (NT), people have the option of donating their return to to either OzHarvest, Beyond Blue or The Salvation Army. Every donated drink container will raise 10 cents to help Aussies doing it tough during COVID-19.

OzHarvest Founder and CEO, Ronni Kahn AO explained, “The impact of COVID-19 has seen food relief hit an all-time high, with so many people experiencing food insecurity for the first time ever in their lives. We know the importance of providing a nourishing meal. It’s more than just food. It means that families who are struggling will be able to take stronger steps to rebuild their lives during this pandemic. Every five bottles or cans donated to OzHarvest allows us to provide a meal to someone in need.”

Ryan Buzzell, President of TOMRA Collection Solutions Australia, said, “The pandemic has already had an unprecedented negative impact on the lives of millions of Australians both financially and emotionally. With these hardships only set to worsen, we’d like to encourage everyone in New South Wales – whether you’ve used the scheme before or not – to collect your used bottles and cans and donate to this important cause. If we could just get 1 in 20 drink containers donated we would exceed fundraising expectations.”

The NSW Return and Earn scheme has already generated over $10.4 million in revenue and donations for charities and community groups since it started in December 2017 – including over $500,000 in fundraising for Rural Aid to help rural families devastated by drought and bushfires in the “Bottles for the Bush” appeal last summer. The Bottles Can Change Lives appeal is aiming to raise a massive $1 million for charities aiding people throughout the pandemic. Bottles donated to OzHarvest will help the organisation get emergency food relief to the millions of people across the country experiencing food insecurity.

The Bottles Can Change Lives appeal kicked off this week and will run until 21st February 2021. To see how your contributions are having an impact and find your nearest return point, go to returnandearn.org.au or show your support on social media using #bottlescanchangelives.

How to donate to TOMRA’s “Bottles can change lives” recycling appeal in NSW:
Recyclers in NSW can donate their eligible containers at one of the +320 Return and Earn machines and any participating return points located across the state. Visit www.bottlescanchangelives.org.au to find your nearest recycling machine.

How to donate to TOMRA’s “Bottles can change lives” recycling appeal in QLD:
Recyclers in QLD can donate their eligible containers at one of the 10 TOMRA Recycling Centres across SE QLD. Visit www.bottlescanchangelives.org.au to find your nearest TOMRA recycling centres.

How to donate to TOMRA’s “Bottles can change lives” recycling appeal in NT:
Recyclers in NT can donate their eligible containers at the TOMRA Recycling Centre – 11 Tang Street, Coconut Grove, Darwin. Visit www.bottlescanchangelives.org.au for more details.

How to donate to TOMRA’s “Bottles can change lives” recycling appeal in WA:
Recyclers in WA can donate their eligible containers at one of the 5 TOMRA Recycling Centres across WA (from 1st October 2020) Visit www.bottlescanchangelives.org.au to find your nearest TOMRA recycling centres.

OzHarvest Welcomes New Board Members

Posted by on August 26, 2020

OzHarvest has appointed three new members to the board of directors. Yasmin Poole, Guy Brent and Andrew Baxter joined the organisation in August to help navigate the new level of demand of food relief and ensure a robust future.

Chairman, Lawrence Goldstone welcomed the new directors, explaining it was a crucial time as OzHarvest adapts and evolves following the impact of COVID-19.  “We are delighted that Yasmine, Andrew and Guy have joined the board with their wealth of knowledge and diverse backgrounds. It certainly is a challenging time for any business, especially those in the charity sector.”

Award winning speaker, writer and youth advocate Yasmin Poole is currently Plan International’s National Ambassador and frequently appears on prominent Australian media programs to discuss the role of diversity in social change. Yasmin has represented over a million young Australians as the Chair of the Victorian Government’s Youth Congress and led the global business development of 180 Degrees Consulting, the largest youth consultancy in the world.

OzHarvest has been working with National Food Rescue partner Woolworths for over a decade, where Guy Brent has held various senior management positions since 2011.  Guy brings a wealth of experience from the business world as Chief Financial Officer of Cellarmasters and Commercial Director at Optus. He originally qualified as a Chartered Accountant and is now Managing Director Foodco & Metro (part of the Woolworths Group).

Marketing thought leader, Andrew Baxter holds many Chair and Non-Executive Director positions, including Chair of Australian Pork, Chair of Tjapukai, Chair of Commtract, and a Non-Executive Director at both Foresters Financial and GrowthOps. He is also a Senior Advisor at BGH Capital and the Adjunct Professor of Marketing at the University of Sydney, and has been the Senior Advisor to KPMG’s Customer, Brand and Marketing business. Prior to this he was the CEO of two of the country’s largest communications agencies, Publicis, and Ogilvy, where he was a trusted counsel to many of Australia’s most iconic brands.

Since March, OzHarvest has rescued 4.5 million kilos of food, delivering over 16 million meals to people in need across the country. Thanks to government funding new emergency services have been operating for the last four months, including 5 pop-up hamper hubs distributing 50,000 hampers, cooking and delivering 340,000 individually portioned meals, 2 mobile markets delivering to 22 regional locations, 20,000 food essentials boxes in Victoria, opening a new OzHarvest Market in Sydney’s Waterloo and supporting an additional 263 charities.

International Recognition for NEST Program

Posted by on August 21, 2020

Leading food rescue organisation, OzHarvest has received international recognition for its nutrition education program NEST by the peer-reviewed journal Nutrients MDPI.  Following a successful review and redesign of NEST (Nutrition Education and Skills Training), the program has been formally recognised as a sound evidence based public health nutrition program that can help to promote food security.

Innovation has been a huge part of OzHarvest’s NEST program over the past couple of years to help improve nutritional literacy and teach adults from vulnerable backgrounds how to cook easy healthy meals on a budget, increasing their social connections and life skills.

NEST Program Manager and lead-author of the published paper, Elisha West wanted to ensure the program could achieve long-term goals and worked with Deakin University to produce the research article. “After five years running 10,000 NEST workshops with charities across the country, we could see the value of the program, but wanted to determine and show the true impact.  We conducted surveys before and after the program to measure change and detailed interviews with participants to thoroughly understand the role that NEST plays in people’s lives.”

“The results showed a noteworthy impact in improving the diet, cooking skills and food security enabling participants to stretch their food budgets, select and cook healthier foods, and save money. We can now show the benefits and longer-term behavioural change of NEST to the community and to have this formally published by a leading academic journal, boosts the credibility of the program and will help secure future funding,” said Elisha.

Anne Klaric of Servants Community Housing, Romana House in Victoria took part in the research and says the benefits of NEST go way beyond nutrition education. “Men who had never cooked before had a whole new world open up to them by learning basic cooking skills, even to the level of how to use a sharp knife properly! There was such a building of relationships among residents participating – people who never usually talked, working alongside each other. Laughing and eating with people from outside the house was a wonderful exposure and confidence building for people who may rarely leave the property.”

The new NEST program includes a range of easy-to-use resources catering for different demographic groups, nutrition education delivered in a fun way and budget-friendly, easy recipes in a new photo-based ‘Everyday Cookbook.’

Following COVID restrictions, NEST workshops will resume in Sydney and Canberra from September, with plans to roll out the program in Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and regional QLD and NSW if funding can be secured.  Current NEST supporters include:  ACT Government, John James Foundation, City of Melbourne, City of Sydney, Greater Charitable Foundation, RACV and AON.


To find out more or support NEST, please contact Elisha West at [email protected] .

To read the full research paper in Nutrients MDPI, click here https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/12/8/2197.  

OzHarvest Newcastle Turns 10!

Posted by on August 21, 2020

Leading food rescue organisation, OzHarvest Newcastle is celebrating its tenth year of rescuing and delivering quality surplus food to people in need in the Hunter region. Over the past decade, the Newcastle team has rescued more than 3,000 tonnes of food from local food donors allowing them to deliver more than nine million meals to people in need.

Thanks to the unwavering support from major donors including OzHarvest’s National Food Rescue Partner Woolworths, nib Foundation and Aldi, OzHarvest Newcastle is able to support 119 charitable agencies from Maitland to Swansea. OzHarvest also welcomes partner Port Waratah Coal Service’s recommitment to help keep the iconic yellow vans on the road.

OzHarvest Newcastle Manager, Andrew Turner, says the success of OzHarvest over the last ten years is due to the support of the local community and a dedicated team of staff and volunteers. “It’s been really difficult for so many people lately, but seeing the community come together to support one another is truly amazing. At a time when our resources are under pressure and demand for food is high, we rely on our corporate partners, food donors and incredible volunteers to keep our food rescue operations running. The impact of COVID called for a huge team effort to provide emergency food relief services, creating and distributing over 6,700 food hampers and more than 12,800 cooked meals to people in need.”

“We are also thrilled to welcome Port Waratah back on board. The two-year partnership will allow OzHarvest to deliver 200,000 meals providing much needed support to the rising number of people in need in Newcastle,” said Andrew.

Port Waratah Chief Executive Officer Hennie du Plooy said, “Food rescue is more important than ever and we’re pleased our support will enable OzHarvest to not only respond to unprecedented needs of the pandemic, but also continue to meet commitments to 49 charities that rely on them for food, many of which are also our community partners.” 

Food insecurity is on the rise and people across the Hunter are facing hardships they have never faced before. To keep OzHarvest’s wheels turning and help feed vulnerable men, women and children, donate now at ozharvest.org. For every $1 donated, OzHarvest is able to deliver two meals to people in need

To support the local team please contact [email protected] or call +61 2 4940 0767.

Local Heroes

Posted by on August 21, 2020

Over the past decade, our incredible volunteers around the country have established eight regional chapters – rescuing and delivering food locally! Volunteering countless hours, spreading joy and love, and rescuing and delivering delicious, quality food, these amazing teams have provided much needed support throughout the country. In this time, their combined efforts have delivered an incredible 5,755,912 meals to vulnerable regional communities!

Here’s a quick round up of what our local heroes have achieved recently.

Sunshine Coast – OzHarvest Sunshine Coast reached their one million meal milestone earlier this year. This is a major achievement from Chapter Coordinator, Michele Lipner and her dedicated team of around 80 volunteers, who are currently supporting 44 charities on the Sunshine Coast. The team and their local food donors rallied during the bushfires and have been working relentlessly to help vulnerable groups, including international students during the pandemic. Next on the agenda is their 6th anniversary.  Happy Birthday Sunshine Coast!

Coffs Harbour – Our wonderful chapter coordinator Julie Ferguson has achieved local recognition for her dedication to volunteering, as she was named 2020 Local Woman of the Year. Member for Coffs Harbour, Gurmesh Singh described her as “an unstoppable force for kindness” as she has worked tirelessly, along with her team of 40 volunteers running OzHarvest Coffs Harbour since 2014. The Coffs team also recently reached their one million meals milestone – a big congratulations to all!

Wagga – The team in Wagga have also been hard at work delivering much needed food relief to 17 charities in the Wagga region, with John Foord leading the charge. John was recently named Senior NSW Volunteer of the Year for the Riverina District in Wagga and won the All-Round Volunteer award, for which there were 118,000 nominations!  John started the OzHarvest Wagga Chapter eight years ago and has delivered nearly 900,000 meals in the local community, along with his dedicated team of 25 volunteers. This award is well deserved – congratulations John!

Victor Harbour – When COVID-19 hit Australia, many volunteers in our Victor Harbor chapter had to step back. However, almost all have now returned, along with a couple of extra volunteers, led by Bronte Collins and have delivered over 120,000 meals to people in need. Among the dedicated team of 13 volunteers is 94-year-old Jim Miles, who continues to give his time to help others.

Port Macquarie – Starting around ten years ago, OzHarvest Port Macquarie is our longest running chapter currently supporting 31 charities. Over the decade, the chapter has delivered over 1.8 million meals to people in need throughout the community. This is an incredible achievement by our team of 12 volunteers who with the help of a very kind donation, will be proud owners of a brand-new refrigerated van in the next month! OzHarvest Port Macquarie are also looking for a passionate volunteer to lead their team.

Sapphire Coast – This was once run as a single operation spanning around 100km from north to south. Two years ago, the chapter was split to be more manageable for the coordinators and volunteers. Led by Rebeccah Norman, Sapphire Coast South has been affected by both bushfires and COVID-19, but has managed to keep rescuing food, despite diminished resources and volunteers. Sapphire Coast North was severely impacted by the bushfires and had to put their operations on hold to allow the volunteer team to prioritise their own personal situations. The good news is that they are back under the leadership of Michael Palmer and a team of 10 volunteers, who have a newfound passion for food rescue!  Together, the Sapphire Coast chapters have delivered over 230,000 meals!

Southern Highlands – One of our youngest chapters, OzHarvest Southern Highlands started around three years ago. It’s a small chapter but has great local food donors, who supply a regular source of rescued food and a huge injection of wonderful fresh produce which has helped feed those who have been affected by the bushfires and COVID-19. Led by Jenny O’Reagan and her team of 12 volunteers, they have delivered nearly 200,000 meals!

Central Coast – Starting only in June of this year, our Central Coast chapter has already made a huge impact in the region. Led by Annika Stott and Luke McKelvey with a team of passionate local volunteers, they have already delivered over 120,000 meals to people in need, supporting 15 charities on the Central Coast. This is an incredible achievement in such a small time – well done team Central Coast!

We want to say a great big thank you to all the hard-working chapter coordinators and their teams, whose tireless efforts ensure that good food gets to those who need it most. The countless hours and ongoing passion shown by each of these individuals truly embodies the OzHarvest spirit, without them we could not support many vulnerable people in regional communities.

OzHarvest Opens Second Food Market To Support Vulnerable Residents

Posted by on July 31, 2020

Australia’s leading food rescue organisation, OzHarvest opened a new food market – The OzHarvest Market Waterloo – as part of its new emergency services to address the drastic rise in demand for food relief. In collaboration with City of Sydney and NSW Government a former local grocery store in the Waterloo Estate has been transformed into a food relief market to support the vulnerable community in inner-Sydney.

Following the successful trial of this initiative through the OzHarvest ‘pop up’ Hamper Hub, which distributed 600 bags of free groceries and pre-cooked meals to local residents once a week throughout June and July, the new market will be a more permanent fixture open from Friday-Monday 10am – 2pm.

OzHarvest Founder and CEO, Ronni Kahn AO said the new market has been made possible thanks to wonderful partnerships with City of Sydney and the NSW Land and Housing Corporation to take over a long-term lease at the site and serve the local community.

“The impact of COVID-19 has seen food relief hit an all-time high, with so many men, women and children experiencing food insecurity for the first time ever in their lives. OzHarvest is committed to feeding as many people as possible and has expanded its services, beyond the usual food rescue operations to offer new emergency food relief.

“We know the importance of providing a nourishing meal. It’s more than just food. It means that families  who are struggling will be able to take stronger steps to rebuild their lives during this pandemic”.

Lord Mayor of Sydney Clover Moore, said the City of Sydney identified access to food as a significant issue early in the pandemic and part of their emergency response provided OzHarvest with a $1million donation to help support vulnerable communities.

“No one should be worried about having enough to eat, but for vulnerable communities the Covid-19 crisis has made accessing affordable, nutritious food even harder than usual. We look forward to seeing the OzHarvest Waterloo Market open and providing hampers and groceries to help people during this challenging time,” the Lord Mayor said.

Minister for Water, Property and Housing Melinda Pavey said the OzHarvest partnership was another example of the NSW Government working to deliver social housing that reduces disadvantage and improves the quality of life for tenants.

“OzHarvest is providing another healthy ingredient in the recipe for social housing success at the Waterloo Estate. This new initiative will serve the needs of vulnerable people and families by providing them with better access to fresh and affordable food. Community connectivity and renewal is central to the NSW Government building more and better housing throughout NSW; not just inner-city locations.” Minister Pavey said.

This will be OzHarvest’s second supermarket, following the successful OzHarvest Market in Kensington, opened in April 2017. Starting out as a pop-up project, the Kensington Market based on a ‘take what you need, give if you can’ philosophy, now feeds over 300 customers a day and during lockdown distributed 1,000 free food hampers each week. The impact of the pandemic has seen OzHarvest introduce a range of new emergency food relief services including; regular weekly Hamper Hubs for international students, a mobile market distributing food to regional and bushfire affected communities and pre-cooked meals by OzHarvest chefs and external hospitality partners.

Helping Hands and Hospitality Heroes

Posted by on July 28, 2020

The sense of community has been overwhelming and we are truly thankful to everyone who has reached out in these challenging times with an offer of support. Our yellow family grows bigger every day! Here are some of the amazing organisations who have given us a helping hand over the last few months.

Hospitality Heroes
Our wonderful friends in the hospitality industry have fired up empty kitchens across Australia to produce cooked meals to help meet the rising demand for food relief. Combined with the meals cooked in the OzHarvest kitchen, we have delivered more than 289,000 meals for vulnerable communities!

Thank you to our Hospitality Heroes:

  • Rockpool Dining Group (Sydney)
  • Canva (Sydney)
  • NSW Parliament House kitchen (Sydney)
  • SA Parliament House kitchen (Adelaide)
  • Pure Foundation with Lend Lease (Sydney)
  • Adelaide Oval Stadium
  • Bread In Common (Perth)
  • WA Parliament House (Perth)
  • Pawpaw Café (Brisbane)
  • Victoria Park Function Centre (Brisbane)
  • Australian Catering Services (Brisbane)
  • Get Chef’d (Brisbane)
  • Optus Stadium, RAC Arena, HBF Stadium (Perth)
  • Nel Restaurant (Sydney)
  • Electrolux (Sydney)
  • J.P. Morgan (Sydney)
  • Brookfield Properties (Sydney)
  • Bella Brutta (Sydney)
  • SA Parliament House
  • National Convention Centre Canberra (NCCC)
  • Travelodge Newcastle
  • Comestibles
  • Rendezvous Hotel Scarborough
  • La Cholita
  • Bamboo Catering
  • Kazoomies
  • May Street Larder
  • The Quarter Acre Hotel
  • Diamond Brook Catering
  • Crowne Plaza Perth (IHG)
  • Optus Stadium, RAC Arena, HBF Stadium (Venues West)
  • Brookfield Place Café Court
  • WA Parliament House
  • Kailis Group
  • Tweed Heads Bowls Club (Gold Coast)
  • Tropic Spirit Catering (Cairns)
  • Paradox Coffee Roasters (Gold Coast)
  • Tweed Heads Bowls Club
  • The Foodprint Experience
  • Shobosho 
  • Compass Group
  • National Convention Centre Canberra (NCCC)
  • Chartwells – Compass Group.
  • Canva Pty Ltd
  • Victoria Park Golf Complex
  • SA Parliament House (Adelaide)
  • Nimrod Kazoom Catering and Events
  • Brubecks Boutique Foods
  • Sole Origin
  • Get Chef’d
  • Bopp and Tone
  • Merewether High School
  • Fahrenheit Catering Adelaide
  • Nediz Food
  • Food According to Bree
  • Share Dinners

Food Donors
With food relief in Australia at an all-time high, relying solely on distributing rescued surplus food is just not enough to meet demand. Many food businesses have come to the rescue with free food or financial donations to allow us to close this gap. Thank you to those donors:

  • ALDI
  • Marley Spoon
  • Hello Fresh
  • ALH Group
  • Kellogg’s
  • Byron Beef Jerky (Gold Coast) 
  • Chobani (Melbourne)
  • Darrell Lea  (Melbourne)
  • Lindt (Melbourne)
  • Perth convention and exhibition centre
  • Optus Stadium Perth
  • Melbourne convention and exhibition centre
  • TKMaxx
  • Ferrero Australia
  • Pitango
  • Suncoast Fresh (Sunshine Coast)
  • Treasury Casino (Brisbane)
  • Virgin Airlines, Qantas, Dnata Catering
  • Perfection Fresh Group
  • Josh’s Rainbow Eggs
  • Do Good Labs (Brisbane)
  • Howard Smith Wharves (Brisbane)
  • Hilton Hotel Brisbane (Brisbane)
  • Compass Group (Brisbane)
  • W Brisbane (Brisbane)
  • The Calile Hotel (Brisbane)
  • Origin Earth
  • Body Science
  • Maximus Pies
  • The Star
  • Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre
  • Qld Hydroponics Garden
  • Rainbow Express Food
  • Fresh Food Friday
  • Dream World
  • Warner Bros Film Production Studios
  • Bond University Food & Beverage
  • Gate Gourmet
  • EcoVillage Currumbin
  • The Entertainment Centre
  • The Convention Centre 
  • The Austral Hotel
  • Dnata SA
  • Food Bank SA
  • Compass Hampers
  • APM Refrigeration
  • Crema Coffee Garage
  • The Foodprint Experience
  • Share_Dinners
  • Harris Farm (Bowral)
  • Alex Hotel
  • AMEMC Perth
  • AON Australia Pacific
  • Artisan Foods
  • Bamboo Catering
  • Bankwest (Perth)
  • Bannister Downs Dairy
  • Common Bakery
  • Broadspectrum WA (formerly Transfield)
  • Brookfield Place
  • Brownes Food Operations Pty. Ltd.
  • Canvas Café
  • Chef Hire
  • Chill WA
  • City Beach Residential College
  • Cobham Aviation
  • Colonial Freight Lines
  • Corinthian Doors -Jeld_Wen Australia
  • Crafted Events WA
  • Cyril Jackson Senior Campus
  • D Gullone – Fruit + Berry Growers
  • David Jones
  • Dnata
  • Drift Kitchen
  • Drop Inn
  • Emma & Tom’s Food WA
  • Evia Yoghurt Co.
  • Ernst and Young (Perth)
  • Fresh Frontier
  • Granny’s Pies & Cakes
  • Guzman y Gomez Northbridge
  • HBF Park (formerly NIB Stadium)
  • Honest Goods Co.
  • Ibis Style East Perth
  • Illawarra Orchard
  • InterContinental (Perth)
  • Isagenix WA
  • Monde Nissin Australia
  • NOPTA
  • Norfolk Hotel
  • Odyssea
  • Order-In Pty. Ltd.
  • Presbyterian Ladies’ College
  • Public Sector Commission
  • Qantas Perth Cabin Crew Base
  • Quaker Oats Australia
  • Quest Midland Hotel
  • Railroad
  • Ready Chef Go
  • Red Barn Café
  • Rendezvous Hotel Central
  • Rodney’s Bait and Tackle
  • Ronald McDonald House
  • Sacred Heart College Sorrento
  • Sculpture by the Sea Cottesloe
  • Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital
  • Social Manna Café
  • South Metropolita TAFE Bentley Campus
  • South Perth Yacht Club
  • Southern Cross Austereo (Perth)
  • Superstock Food Services
  • The Honey Cake (Fremantle)
  • The Claremont
  • The Island Café
  • The Northbirdge Dining Room
  • TSA Group
  • WACA
  • Westoz Food Distributor

Other Essentials

Other businesses have supported us with in kind donations such as face masks and sanitiser, kitchen knives, discounts on hire vehicles and beautiful flowers which offer some much needed joy during these difficult times. Thank you to these businesses for supporting us:

  • Thrifty
  • Dolby
  • Air-Con Freight
  • Bloomberg
  • Indorama
  • ABC Tissue / Quilton
  • Earp Brothers
  • TaxiBox
  • 19 On Green Community Centre 
  • Counterpoint
  • Southern Cross Group
  • Crown Equipment Pty Ltd
  • K&J Frozen Storage
  • Lake Macquarie City Council
  • Newcastle City Council
  • Peter Cruwys
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OzHarvest Melbourne Supports Locals in Lockdown

Posted by on July 28, 2020

Bernardo Tobias, Victoria State Manager, and his team have had an extremely busy 14 weeks. He explains the community spirit he witnessed and the round-the-clock team work involved in getting good food to those in desperate need in Melbourne.
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Fourteen weeks ago we received funding from the Department of Social Services to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. Immediately, I planted the seed for a project aiming to feed 7,500 Victorian households for 12 weeks with nutritious, locally sourced seasonal food, encouraging people to break bread and have their needs met, in addition to continuing OzHarvest’s usual food rescue operations. Like everywhere in the country, we redeployed family members into new roles totally out of their comfort zones, doing things that have never been done before, in order to meet the rising demand, which was nothing short of immense.
 
In two short weeks, the remodelled team in Melbourne adapted, collaborated, and stepped up in a thrilling and proactive manner. Sourcing branded, environmentally friendly boxes we filled them with good healthy food that would otherwise have gone to landfill. Along with nutritionally based family meal recipe cards and in-depth surveys to measure long and short-term impacts and demand, the team worked together to create an entirely new approach to logistical challenges and systems for data collection that allowed us to measure and report live on every aspect of the program.
 
Throughout the next 10 weeks, we continuously refined and improved our service. The initial target of 7,500 households was met and surpassed by week seven. By week nine we had fed 11,860 households in areas of high need in Victoria. And then COVID-19 reared its ugly head once again in our state.
 
Friday 3 July saw the implementation of the hardest lockdowns seen in the country, aimed at an already vulnerable cohort in the community: nine housing commission towers went into full lockdown, surrounded by police, with residents unable to leave their homes for any reason. 3,000 people stranded. By Monday, the news was doom and gloom and we had to do something.

We reached out to the Department of Health and Human Services, State and Federal politicians, community organisations, the private sector and everyone in between to understand what was happening on the ground. It was dire. People were scrambling to help, food was getting delivered to the sites without notice or systems, police and government staff and volunteers were doing the best they could to get food up to 780 apartments in limited lifts, with residents receiving expired foods, cereal without milk, bread without spread, spread without bread, culturally inappropriate food – it was chaos.

By 10am Monday morning we had a plan to help. We purchased extra food, we called on friends, families, volunteers, and all staff for help. By Tuesday 7:30am our warehouse was full of people in yellow, with their sleeves rolled up opening boxes, printing halal fact sheets, moving pallets up and down, drafting packing lists and all with appropriate physical distancing of course! We knew it was going to be a long, hard couple of days. And it was.
 
We packed boxes for over 14 hours straight on Tuesday, packing a total of 1,600 boxes with 21,600kgs of food for both tower residents and our regular Essential Boxes recipients. By 9pm that night, every vehicle in our fleet was loaded to capacity with boxes to be delivered first thing Wednesday morning. We know that we continue to make a significant difference and all of our efforts go to nourishing our country.

Over the past 14 weeks we have delivered 14,437 Food Essential Boxes. That’s 191,267kg of nutritious food, or 555,265 meals, to Victorians doing it tough as result of the crisis, in addition to our daily food rescue and relief deliveries.
 
This crisis has created a new norm. It has highlighted the importance of our service but most importantly, it provided a platform for our community and family members to shine. The passion and commitment of each one of us has been (and will continue to be) tested and I could not be prouder of my team and every one of our yellow family across the country. We will continue Nourishing our Country, through this pandemic and beyond.