A new yellow truck is out and about in Townsville as Australia’s leading food rescue organisation, OzHarvest expands its Queensland operations to bring much needed food relief to vulnerable members of the community. Recent funding from the State Government Department of Environment and Science, has enabled OzHarvest to start rescuing and delivering food to local charities helping to feed people in need.
OzHarvest Queensland State Manager, Anthony Dunne said the new Townsville team has been warmly welcomed by the local community and has hit the ground running. “We’re so happy to be able to bring this vital service to Townsville, where we know there are still many families struggling to put food on the table. Our aim is to rescue 150 tonnes of food in the first year, which will provide around 450,000 meals to help feed those who need it most.”
“Thanks to Queensland Government funding, we have two amazing drivers, Tania and Tracy, and a brand-new refrigerated truck, which is the first step. Now we need to build our local OzHarvest family to include food donors, volunteers and local supporters to help keep our wheels turning. We are also looking for a new home with some warehouse space and a cool room and would love to hear from anyone who wants to and is able to help,” said Anthony.
Minister for the Environment, the Honourable Meaghan Scanlon said OzHarvest was one of six food rescue organisations to receive nearly $1 million in support thanks to the Palaszczuk Government’s ‘Food Rescue’ grants program. “I thank OzHarvest for doing such important work, helping Queenslanders and helping the environment at the same time,” Minister Scanlon said.
Thuringowa MP Aaron Harper said the $200,000 awarded to OzHarvest enabled it to expand its operations in the region. “As a long-time supporter of food charities in Townsville, I am very grateful for the work OzHarvest does helping vulnerable people in our city and I look forward to more local businesses joining to support Townsville families in need.”
OzHarvest food rescue operations rely on good quality surplus food being donated from local business. National food rescue partner, Woolworths has already donated five tonnes of fresh and nutritious food from 12 stores in the local area. The refrigerated truck has a capacity to collect around 1.5 tonnes of food a day, so adding more local businesses to the daily run is key to increasing the regular supply of food.
Sandra Elton from North Townsville Community Hub (NOTCH) is a local not-for-profit providing community services and is one of nine charities already receiving a regular supply of fresh and nutritious food from OzHarvest. “OzHarvest food rescue has been a blessing for our community. Because of this extra nutritious food, we have been able to expand our reach via pop-up community food tables in rural centres and support even more clients with our daily food programs.”
To get involved and support the local OzHarvest team in Townsville please contact 07 3708 1380.