The scaling up of OzHarvest emergency food relief services has gone into full force, with nearly 10,000 hampers being packed a week. Thanks to the rallying spirit of corporate partners, government, the public, our volunteers and on ground support from local police and the Australian Defence Force.
OzHarvest Founder and CEO, Ronni Kahn AO said the ongoing impact of lockdown restrictions in NSW has seen the need for food escalate as never ever before. “The scale of the operation was unimaginable a few weeks ago – when the ADF turn up at 8.30 a.m. you know you are running a military operation! In just one day over 30 volunteers packed 11 tonnes of food into 1500 hampers ready for distribution the next day.
“OzHarvest’s rapid response to the situation has only been possible thanks to funding boosts from NSW Government, City of Sydney, the Goodman Group, Woolworths and ongoing donations from the public which is enabling us to buy the food needed. Our amazing partners, Goodman have come to our rescue by giving us extra warehouse space to accommodate such large volumes of food and hamper packing.”
“We’ve engaged 500 new emergency response volunteers, hired bigger trucks, sourced new food supply partners including Woolies and are working collaboratively with Resilience NSW, local councils, charities, the police and ADF to make sure food gets to those who need it most,” said Ronni.
Goodman Foundation CEO, Jo Cameron said after 17 years supporting OzHarvest, they knew now was the time for some extra help. “When I called Ronni to find out what was needed, we were happy to step up by helping to purchase more food and providing two new warehouses, increasing the space for OzHarvest seven-fold!”
Sarah De La Mare, Head of Community & Sponsorships at Woolworths Supermarkets said in these times of increased need, it’s so important that we band together. “Woolworths are delighted to help OzHarvest through additional funding and by supplying culturally appropriate ingredients for the hampers. We know the importance of providing fresh and nutritious food and the team are busy helping to source and supply the right food. We’ve also extended the opportunity for Woolworths online customers to support by donating the equivalent cost of a food hamper as part of their weekly shop.”
The impact of the latest lockdown in NSW has resulted in over 50 new charities reaching out for help, with 200 charities now being supported. Around half the charities that receive OzHarvest food cannot meet the current demand for food relief.
Nathan Moulds, Program Manager from Anglicare is making two trips a week to collect over 300 OzHarvest hampers to make home deliveries to his local community. “It’s heartbreaking to see how many people who have never needed help before, turning to charity for the first time in their lives. We’re seeing families who very quickly fall behind paying rent and bills as they’ve lost their jobs, then putting food on the table becomes a real struggle.
“Food is an incredible doorway for connection. It opens conversations and the possibility of change, transformation and hope in people’s lives. The OzHarvest hampers are helping us reach as many people as we can at this difficult time.”
The hampers are being distributed directly to charities in the most affected LGAs and through pop-up hubs in Lakemba on Tuesdays and Granville on Thursdays.
As lockdowns extended across the state, other emergency food relief services are also being extended with the OzHarvest Mobile Market making trips to an additional six regional and remote communities.
Our chefs and hospitality partners at Hope Delivery, NSW Parliament House, Canva and Safety Culture have increased the production of cooked meals to 10,000 a week. These nutritious meals provide extra support to people who are unable to buy groceries, are unable to cook for themselves or are isolation.
OzHarvest’s emergency food relief operations are a direct result of incredible support, crucial Government funding, teamwork and community connections. Making sure those hit the hardest are able to access fresh and nutritious food during these uncertain times.