With Christmas just around the corner and demand for food relief at an all-time high, the OzHarvest Queensland team have been busier than ever. Thanks to a huge community effort involving food donors, staff, volunteers and local supporters, OzHarvest is celebrating a huge milestone in their food rescue operations earlier this month, with the delivery of its 30 millionth meal to local charity Breakthrough 5 and 2 Ministry in Ipswich.
OzHarvest Queensland State Manager Anthony Dunne said that the impact of floods, drought, bushfires and the pandemic have resulted in the biggest year for food rescue with more than 1.8 million kgs of food saved from 262 businesses across the state.
“There is no doubt 2020 has been a year like no other. We have seen a drastic rise in people experiencing food insecurity, many turning to charities for the first time in their lives. The OzHarvest team has rallied to meet demand and extend our services to support an additional 32 charities across Brisbane, Cairns, Gold Coast and Toowoomba. 30 million meals is a huge achievement and is only possible thanks to generous donations from the public, extra support from food donors and government funding. We are delighted to celebrate this milestone delivery with Breakthrough 5 and 2, one of the many charities working hard to support vulnerable Queenslanders,” said Anthony.
Kenny Vui, Head Administrator at Breakthrough 5 and 2 Ministry said since OzHarvest began supporting them in May they have been receiving around 310 kgs of fresh food every week.
“The OzHarvest food is a huge blessing and helps us feed around 200 people a week, from all walks of life that are struggling right now. Everybody is so grateful for the huge range of fresh fruit and vegetables they receive, which would usually be hard to access – it means one less expense to worry about.”
Food rescue operations rely on regular food donations from local businesses, including National Food Rescue Partner Woolworths who provide fresh and nutritious food from 138 stores in the region.
Woolworths Queensland State General Manager Chris Peters said; “As the fresh food people, our passion and respect for food is an essential part of who we are, and what we do. The ability to identify and divert our surplus fresh food to OzHarvest for local charities like Breakthrough 5 and 2, who help feed those in need, is a critical part of our support of the community.”
“With many charities closing over the Christmas period, it’s our busiest time of the year,” explained Anthony. “The holiday season is the toughest time of the year for many people and charities say they could take double the food to meet demand – we can deliver an extra 100,000 meal a month and I’m sure it will be more this year.”
OzHarvest is dedicated to feeding vulnerable communities and rely on donations to keep our wheels turning. Every $1 donated allows OzHarvest to deliver two meals to people in need. If you can help this holiday season. Please donate at ozharvest.org