This is an amazing story of how a simple idea can be transformed into a powerful initiative that touches the lives of hundreds in need!
In November 2013 I was approached by 3 first year medical students from Bond University – they had an idea to rally their fellow students to purchase and donate take away meals for those in need. There’s a bit more to it than this – students who live on campus are required to purchase a food card at the beginning of each semester which has a certain $ value on it. These cards can be used to purchase meals at several of the food outlets on campus. At the end of each semester however, there is no refund or credit, the students simply loose whatever value they don’t use. So the students thought they’d ask around and see if their peers would be prepared to purchase takeaway meals with their left over card values that OzHarvest could rescue and deliver to those in need.
We loved the idea and were thrilled to work with the students for their very first food drive. To say it was a roaring success would be a grave understatement. After just one week of canvassing their fellow students Tanvi, Amila and Ryan were able to place an order for 150 meals with the Brasserie chef! We were delighted to pick up the freshly prepared meals and deliver them straight to Rosies who’s volunteers were able to take the meals out on their van that same night and give a hot meal to the homeless! What an amazing achievement and one the students should be immensely proud of.
But it didn’t end there, 2 weeks ago Tanvi and Amila contacted me again as they were nearing the end of semester and they wanted to run the food drive again. This time they had the F&B Manager and the Chef In Charge supporting them by allowing them to put posters up in the Brasserie to raise awareness for their initiative. The result was nothing short of mind blowing…a total of 671 meals purchased and donated by students! At a value of $10 per meal that’s an amazing $6,710 effectively donated by university students to help those in need! We were able to deliver the meals to Rosies, Gold Coast Project for Homeless Youth, Ronald McDonald House, Nerang Neighbourhood Community Centre, Mirikai, Blair Athol and a number of other Gold Coast charities, Church and Community groups helping those in need on the Coast.
The students have now created a legacy as the Head Chef & F&B Manager are going to liaise with OzHarvest and run this campaign at the end of every semester going forward. What an amazing outcome from what started as an idea amongst friends!
August 22, 2014