Our 2016 champion charity is OzHarvest, Australia’s first perishable food rescue organisation. These guys drive all over the country collecting surplus food from supermarkets, hotels and more; and then deliver it (for free) directly to over 800 charities looking after those in need.
Over the coming weeks members of our Melbourne team are volunteering their services by heading out on the road with the food heroes for a day. Yesterday was the turn of Mr Ian Whitmore, here’s how he got on...
Tell us what you got up to on your day as a food hero.
We kicked off by loading up the chiller van with frozen goods; mainly pasta sauce, mince and ice cream – yum! After that we picked up unwanted food from various restaurants and snack bars around Richmond, Collingwood and Fitzroy. By then it was time for our first drop off of the day at a small organisation in Brunswick.
From there we collected food from different national supermarkets (a lot of bread and carrots), a few 5-star hotels in the city and even unused cookies and muffins from an airline! We dropped off at several more not-for-profit organisations in Melbourne, including a care home for the elderly, a homeless shelter, an asylum seekers charity and a small addiction group.
What was your favourite part of the day?
Seeing the food disruption centre at Melbourne airport was pretty cool; I thought I was in Megafactories! Although, the real highlight would have to be the amazing people that volunteer to prepare and cook the food OzHarvest drops off. I’ve also got major respect for the organisations that donate their surplus food, they really understand the importance of the cause and add value to so many people’s lives.
Do you know how many kilos of food you managed to rescue?
The OzHarvest team have a handy app that tallies up everything you pick up and drop off throughout the day. We totalled nearly 400kg in food, so you can understand how hard their food heroes work, especially when each tray has to be weighed separately!
What surprised you most about your day in the OzHarvest van?
Apart from how bad some people's driving was (yep, I saw someone reversing back down a slip road on the free way), I was amazed by the dedication of the staff, they’re so committed to not wasting a single bit of food. The hard work food hero, Mick, who I must thank for letting me volunteer, puts in every day is amazing and refreshing.
Will your OzHarvest experience make you think twice the next time you throw food away?
As you can gather from what you’ve read the OzHarvest crew do some fantastic work, so if you’re feeling generous why not donate to this amazing cause? It only costs $1 for two meals to feed a person in need.
Earlier in the year our Melbourne team also got involved in the ROC Race to show our support for OzHarvest and we’ll be continuing our fund-raising efforts throughout the year, so keep a beady eye out for more updates!
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