New home for food re­hom­ing vol­un­teers

Sunshine Coast Daily - Caloundra Weekly - - LIFE LOCAL LIFE - Tessa Pa­trick Tessa.Pa­trick@sc­news.com.au

FOOD wastage and aware­ness on the Sun­shine Coast has been a grow­ing prob­lem, but a group com­bat­ing that has just moved into a new home with a new set of wheels.

OzHar­vest is a food res­cue ser­vice.

In short, the team of vol­un­teers col­lect sur­plus food from supermarkets, cafes and house­holds that may have been sec­onds, over-supplied or slightly bruised, and gift them on to schools, char­i­ties, and the com­mu­nity’s needy.

For al­most four years, vol­un­teers were us­ing their own cars and op­er­at­ing out of a garage, and chap­ter co-or­di­na­tor Michele Lip­ner said this lat­est de­vel­op­ment is a game-changer.

“It has sig­nif­i­cant im­pli­ca­tions for the whole pro­gram,” Ms Lip­ner said.

“Now we have the abil­ity to reach fur­ther and store more food for longer, so we can help a wider reach of the com­mu­nity.

“For a while my garage ended up be­ing the fo­cal point for foods.”

Along­side their re­dis­tri­bu­tion, OzHar­vest also of­fers ed­u­ca­tion and aware­ness on the en­vi­ron­men­tal and so­cial im­pacts of food wastage, and the new premises will al­low them to put a grow­ing fo­cus on this.

“Ed­u­ca­tion and ad­vo­cacy is bet­ter done when you have an of­fice and can think, plan and ini­ti­ate events to do that help with mes­sages,” Ms Lip­ner said.

Fund­ing came from government grants, lo­cal funds, and an over­whelm­ing amount from com­mu­nity fundrais­ing.

“If it weren’t for the com­mu­nity we wouldn’t be here,” Ms Lip­ner said.

Ms Lip­ner urged any­one con­sid­er­ing vol­un­teer­ing to make con­tact via the web­site: ozhar­vest.org.

PHOTO: JOHN MCCUTCHEON

FOOD RES­CUE: Jane Mc­Carthy and Michele Lip­ner with the new van to help them re­dis­tribute sur­plus food on the Sun­shine Coast.

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