OzHarvest Newcastle Delivers Over Five Million Meals

Posted by on September 25, 2018

The fight against food waste has reached a major milestone as OzHarvest Newcastle delivered the equivalent of over five million meals to Hunter residents, using over 1.7 million kilograms of rescued food.

Chris Rowntree, OzHarvest Newcastle City Manager, explained how this staggering amount was delivered in eight years, thanks to the tremendous support from food donors and sponsors across the region.

“Food rescue operations have grown steadily since OzHarvest Newcastle commenced in 2010. Last year with the support of nib foundation, a third van was added to the fleet which helped us deliver our five millionth meals sooner than we expected,” said Mr Rowntree.

“With over 100 regular food donors we are collecting and delivering on average 6,500 kilograms of nutritious food every week. We are supported by local businesses and sponsors who are as passionate about preventing quality food going to waste and delivering it to people in need as we are,” he said.

nib foundation, Executive Officer, Amy Tribe said they were proud to have helped increase the capacity of OzHarvest in the Hunter region to meet an ever growing demand for food relief.

“Each day thousands of the Hunter region’s most vulnerable residents are able to enjoy a meal thanks to the incredible work of OzHarvest Newcastle and its team of volunteers,” Ms Tribe said.

“It’s an amazing local success story that we’ve been proud to support since its establishment in 2010. We look forward to being a part of their ongoing growth as they continue to help improve the health and wellbeing of those most at risk in our community,” she added.

Food donors include supermarkets, local clubs, restaurants, cafes, hotels, wholesalers, schools, farmers and local producers. All food donors and sponsors have embraced OzHarvest’s purpose to Nourish our Country, regularly donating nutritious food which is delivered to more than 100 charities across the Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Cessnock, Maitland and Port Stephens LGAs.

Australians throw out an estimated four million tonnes of food each year costing the nation $20 billion annually. OzHarvest and their 3,000 food donors nationwide are playing a vital role in addressing this issue.

Local Legends – Skip the Line

Posted by on November 30, 2017

The Sydney Junction Hotel have come up with a great initiative to help patrons jump the queue for a good cause. It’s called Local Legends.

The Hamilton pub is so popular, particularly on Friday and Saturday nights, that people line the streets to get in.

This is where the “Skip the Line” idea was born. Patrons can donate $20.00, 100 percent of which is given to a nominated charity, and they avoid waiting in line.

For the month of December, OzHarvest Newcastle has been selected as the charity of choice. Pop down to SJ’s and say hi to our volunteers. For every $20 donated, we can provide 40 meals to those in need.

For more information, go to

SJ Van Phoebe SJs Phoebe van heart_1000

OzHarvest Newcastle adds third food rescue vehicle to fleet thanks to NAB & AHG

Posted by on October 31, 2017

OzHarvest Newcastle recently added a third food rescue vehicle to our fleet thanks to our friends at NAB Business Banking & AHG, Australia’s largest automotive group. OzHarvest Newcastle has delivered the equivalent of nearly half a million meals to those in need in Newcastle and the Hunter region and the new van will allow the team to deliver even more.

AHG donated $40,000 and the NAB staff held two fundraising events in support of OzHarvest donating $35,000! A massive thank you too to George at Steve Koulis Smash Repairs who painted the new van OzHarvest yellow and who has painted all of our vehicles over the years free of charge!

nab golf day March 2017

Hunter Water supports OzHarvest with Charity Partnership Program

Posted by on August 14, 2017

Hunter Water recently introduced a Charity Partnership Program where three local organisations are voted by staff to participate. OzHarvest was chosen as the first charity for 2017. You may have noticed our logo and messaging on your last water bill!

As part of the program, the staff at the various depots held OzSizzle BBQ’s and for every dollar donated by staff, Hunter Water matched it. We would like to thank Hunter Water, Mel Hole and all of the staff for the amazing support we received and for the fabulous gifts that were donated.

We received a brand new marquee, two tables, two chairs, two hydration stations and two hand washing stations plus a donation that will allow us to deliver nearly 3,000 meals to locals in need.

Awesome job Hunter Water!

Hunter Water - donated handwashing stations Hunter Water - donated hydration stations

ClubGRANTS making a real difference in Newcastle

Posted by on September 1, 2016

OzHarvest Newcastle has successfully rescued and redistributed more than 3.6 million meals since operations began in February, 2010.This equates to 1,210,656 kilograms of good quality surplus food saved from landfill and delivered to more than 80 charities to feed vulnerable people in our local communities.  OzHarvest is the only perishable food rescue organisation in Newcastle & Hunter Region collecting food from all types of licenced food providers including supermarkets, clubs, hotels, wholesalers, distribution centres, corporate events and cafes.  

We are excited to be a recipient of the 2016 ClubGRANTS program. The support from The Wests Group, Charlestown Bowling Club and Cessnock Leagues Club will allow us to provide an additional 151,000 meals to those in need and help us continue to make a make a profound difference to the lives of thousands of the Hunter’s most vulnerable residents. We thank The West Group, Charlestown Bowling Club & Cessnock Leagues Club for their generosity and support in helping us achieve our vision of Nourishing Our Country through food rescue, nutrition education, engagement and innovation.

The ClubGRANTS scheme is a shared State Government-Club Industry program, funded by 2.25% gaming machine tax rebate provided by the State Government to those registered clubs with gaming machine profits in excess of $1 million per annum.

ClubGRANTS 2016

OzHarvest Newcastle presents Think.Eat.Save on Monday, 25 July

Posted by on July 21, 2016

Newcastle’s only food rescue charity, OzHarvest, will feed Novocastrians a free “rescued” meal at Wheeler Place on Monday, 25 July from 11.30am – 2.30pm at the fourth annual Think.Eat.Save event partnered with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). 

Members of the public will enjoy two delicious wintery soups made from “rescued” produce and yummy muffins for dessert made from banana’s that just didn’t make the cut!  Woolworths will be giving away healthy and delicious fruit from their Odd Bunch range.

Hear from a live panel discussion of food industry experts including Amorelle Dempster, Chef & Slow Food Hunter Valley Leader, Mark Brown from Purple Pear Farm, Emma Grezl, Regional Waste Project Officer from Hunter Councils and OzHarvest Newcastle Manager, Monique Maguire on food waste, food security and sustainability, and learn some food saving tips.

Think.Eat.Save events taking place nationwide, will see some of the nation’s top chefs, business leaders, politicians and celebrities unite to address the urgent issue of food waste, which is currently costing Australians up to $8 billion each year.

As the official partner of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), OzHarvest is urging Australians to take action on food waste.

Founder and CEO of OzHarvest, Ronni Kahn, said the aim of Think.Eat.Save 2016 is to bring attention to the alarming amount of food wasted in Australia and around the world, where roughly one third of food produced for human consumption (approx. 1.3 billion tonnes) is wasted or lost along the way.

“The current global and local food waste statistics are alarming,” Ms Kahn said. “We urgently need change to happen now to ensure a sustainable food system for future generations. This year at Think.Eat.Save we are urging Australians to make a dish using their leftovers, giving life to food that would otherwise have been wasted.

“These small efforts to reduce food waste create positive change and inspire others to take action about the urgent issue of food waste and food security.”

Members of the public are encouraged to get involved by making a personal pledge to change their eating behaviour and reduce food waste via the #PledgeAPlate campaign. You can pledge a plate by making a meal out of leftovers, rescued or saved ingredients, taking a photo and uploading it on social media with the hashtag #PledgeAPlate and fundraise via

To mark the national Australian campaign to reduce food waste, OzHarvest will host 11 events across the country, feeding over 15,000 thousand people a free, delicious and hearty hot meal made from rescued produce and educating people about reducing food waste.

#PledgeAPlate Campaign Toolkits are available from July 25 at for businesses and schools to take action and get involved in the Think.Eat.Save campaign.

The national food waste reduction campaign is supported by Woolworths and Glad.

The Newcastle Think.Eat.Save event is supported by the City of Newcastle.


DATE & TIME: Monday, 25 July from 11.30am – 2.30pm (major cities)


Sydney event: Martin Place, Sydney

Adelaide event: The University of Adelaide Goodman Lawns, North Terrace

Brisbane event: St Stephen’s Cathedral, Brisbane

Canberra event: Garema Place

Gold Coast event: The 4217, 10 Beach Road, Surfers Paradise

Melbourne event: The State Library of Victoria, Melbourne

Newcastle event: Wheeler Place, Newcastle

Perth event: Forrest Place, Perth CBD

Regional Areas: Cairns, Sapphire Coast, Armidale


For a full list of events and more information, please visit

Social media tags: @ozharvest @UNEP #thinkeatsave #pledgeaplate

OzHarvest successfully feeds ten thousand people using surplus at United Nations Think.Eat.Save events to fight food waste

Posted by on July 28, 2015

Australia’s leading food rescue organisation, OzHarvest fed more than ten thousand people across Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Newcastle and Perth yesterday at Think.Eat.Save events held simultaneously across the country, a collaboration with the United Nations to tackle the issues of food loss and waste, food security and sustainable food systems.

Taking place at Martin Place in Sydney, St Stephen’s Cathederal in Brisbane, Federation Square in Melbourne, The University of Adelaide, Garema Place in Canberra, The 4217 in the Gold Coast, Forrest Place in Perth, Hunter St Mall in Newcastle, as well as Sapphire Coast and Port Macquarie, the events were a collaboration with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the UN’s Food Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Global Initiative on Food Loss and Waste Reduction (SAVE FOOD).

Some of the nation’s top chefs including Neil Perry, Matt Moran, Peter Gilmore, Guillaume Brahimi, Somer Sivrioglu, Giovanni Pilu, Maeve O’Meara and Hamish Ingham, internationally acclaimed chef Diego Muñoz, as well as mayors, senators, MPs and celebrities united at the events to take a stance against food waste by serving members of the public a free, delicious and hearty hot meal made from surplus produce that would have otherwise ended up as landfill.

Food waste is currently costing Australians up to $10 billion each year, while two million people still rely on food relief.

Founder and CEO of OzHarvest, Ronni Kahn said the aim of Think.Eat.Save 2015 was to bring attention to the disturbing amount of food wasted in Australia and around the world, where roughly one third of food produced for human consumption (approx. 1.3 billion tonnes) gets wasted and lost[1] along the way.

“Our modern day challenge is to create a sustainable food culture that can be shared and accessed by all and where less is wasted at all levels of food production, distribution and consumption,” Kahn said.

“The amount of support that we saw at Think.Eat.Save events across 10 locations around Australia yesterday proves that food waste and food security are issues that Australians care about. Beyond the event, each and every one of us should continue to consciously reduce food waste, both at home, at work or in our businesses and strive to affect change and positively impact our planet.”

Diego Muñoz, Head Chef of Astrid y Gastón, Lima Peru – recently voted #14 Best Restaurant in the World, who is in Australia exclusively for OzHarvest fundraising events until August 3, also participated in a panel discussion around food waste and food sustainability.

“What I found surprising when I went out on the van with OzHarvest to collect and deliver food, was the high quality of the produce that was going to be wasted. Instead OzHarvest was rescuing this food and providing it to people who need it, essentially giving this food another life and making people happy at the same time. It really touched me. Ronni Kahn and her team have created something brilliant, it just makes sense and it’s why I truly support the vision and this cause.”

For more information on OzHarvest or upcoming events featuring Diego Muñoz, please visit

Follow us on Instagram, Twitter @OzHarvest or Facebook or call 1800 108 006

Social media tags: #ozharvest #thinkeatsave @UNEP #SaveFood #UNFAO #FoodWaste @FAOKnowledge @FAOnews @save_food_news @NSW_EPA #LFHW

Thanks to Sydney Event Partners: NSW EPA, Virgin Mobile, Wild Foodies, Sydney Markets, ERM

See our full list of National Supporters here

View our Photo Collection from the events here

For more media information, images or interviews with Ronni Kahn, Founder and CEO of OzHarvest or Diego Muñoz, please contact:


Louise Tran at OzHarvest on [email protected] | +61 2 9516 3877 | +61 466 620 744

Meaghan Kemeny at Liquid Ideas on [email protected] | +61 2 9667 4211 | +61 413 858 818

[1] FAO, 2011, Global food losses and food waste – Extent, causes and prevention, Rome. Food loss (FL): The decrease in quantity or quality of food. FL is mainly caused by the functioning of the food production and supply system or its institutional and legal framework. An important part of food loss is called food waste (FW) which refers to the removal from the supply chain of food which is fit for consumption by choice or has been left to spoil or expire as a result of negligence – predominantly but not exclusively the final consumer at household level. Source: FAO 2014