OzHarvest was the first organisation in Australia to rescue perishable excess food. We now work with over 3,500 food donor businesses to collect quality surplus food and deliver it directly and free of charge, to over 1,300 local charities.
The demand for food relief continues to rise, with over four million people in Australia struggling with food insecurity. We are working hard to ensure a regular supply of nutritious food to many agencies, but many say they could take double to meet demand.
Stopping good food going to waste and getting it to people in need helps in many ways:
- Nutritious food for charities by providing high quality food to agencies which may not have been previously available.
- Savings for charities as vital funds saved from grocery bills can be redirected to education, rehabilitation and other programs.
- Protecting the planet by ensuring good food gets eaten rather than going to landfill helps reduce the negative impact of food waste on the environment.
- Savings for food donors through reducing costs for excess food disposal and storage costs, and increasing the positive impact on the local community.
OzHarvest HQ is in Sydney, with operations in Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Canberra, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Newcastle, and Perth. We also have a growing number of regional chapters run entirely by passionate volunteers, mentored by OzHarvest to get them established with local food rescue operations. To donate or receive rescued food click here to find your local OzHarvest.
If you’re an agency interested in receiving food from OzHarvest please find out more and apply here.
FOOD DONOR FAQS
What food can OzHarvest collect?
We can collect almost anything suitable for human consumption, as long as it’s food safe. Fruit and vegetables, meat, cooked meals and prepacked vacuum items, dry goods, cakes and baked goods, drinks, dairy and eggs.
What food can’t OzHarvest collect?
High risk foods (including shellfish and cooked rice), anything containing alcohol and food prepared by a non-certified person. Bread is also a challenge to re-distribute due to huge wastage volumes in Australia. For this reason, we’re currently at capacity taking bread donations.
What packaging should I use to donate food?
All vans carry re-usable food safe containers which are used to pack all perishable items.
Can OzHarvest take food past “use by” dates?
No. Unfortunately this is no longer food safe. However, some meats can be frozen on this date and remain food safe.
Can OzHarvest take food past “best before” dates?
Yes! We can collect certain foods past the best before dates, if the food is still in good condition and food safe. Generally, three months past is a safe rule, however please call to discuss.
Can OzHarvest collect from private households?
No. Unfortunately there are food safety complications around this, and OzHarvest is not set up logistically to collect from households.
What is my obligation re food safety laws?
Under the Civil Liberties Amendment Act, businesses donating food are protected from liability (Ronni Kahn lobbied government to have legislation changed back in 2005). Please ensure food has been prepared and handled within food safety guidelines and check your local state legislation for more information.