Australia’s Food Rescue Charities
Australia’s food waste problem is being confronted head on by an ever growing number of food rescue charities – organisations who collect excess food from businesses and redistribute it to charities that support Australians who are doing it tough.
The past several years has seen a burgeoning in this small sector, which looks to tackle and reduce the 1 million tonnes of food waste that is sent to landfill by Australian businesses each year.
A number of different food rescue charities are operational around the country, both in urban and regional areas. To find out which charities are collecting and distributing food in you state, check out this short guide.
Many of these charities also rely and depend upon the support of their volunteers. If you’re looking to get involved and play a practical role in the fight against food waste, check out their websites.
Australia’s major food charities
Food Bank || Foodbank is the largest hunger relief organisation in Australia – redistributing enough food for 32 million meals in 2011. Dealing in shelf stable, chilled and frozen food – primarily in palletised form – they largely recieve food to their warehouses, where it’s collected by over 2,500 charities around the country.
WHERE: All state capitals and the NT, with 8 regional centres.
SecondBite || SecondBite is a food rescue not for profit with a special focus on fresh produce. With 75% of the over 1 million kgs of food they redistributed in 2011 being being fresh fruit and vegetables, they play a key role in providing fresh surplus food to over 400 community food programs.
SecondBite also run SecondBite Community Connect – an innovative model of food rescue that facilitates the redistribution of surplus fresh food from local food donors directly to local community groups. Any community group, emergency food relief agency, or benevolent cause with an organised community food program, can be part of SecondBite Community Connect™, and are provided with a full guide to the food donation process.
WHERE: VIC, NSW, TAS, QLD and NT, with Community Connect available nationally
Ozharvest || OzHarvest is a charity specialising in the redistribution of excess food that would otherwise be discarded. OzHarvest delivers 441,500 meals per month nation wide with a fleet of 15 vehicles, supporting the vulnerable through numerous charities around the country.
WHERE: Sydney, Newcastle, Adelaide and Brisbane
REAP || REAP is a unique project in the Australian food rescue scene. While establishing an infrastructure to redistribute food in regional areas remains difficult, OzHarvest have developed REAP as a regional food rescue toolkit – giving people the tools and information they need to connect their local charities with businesses with excess food.
For a step-by-step guide to starting up your own REAP project or finding a chaper near you, check out their website.
Fareshare || Fareshare delivers nutritious meals to the hungry and the homeless using food donated by businesses. Operational since 2001, they support 365 charities and are made unique by constructing meals with donated food in their very own kitchen.
Food Rescue || Food Rescue is a not-for-profit charity servicing disadvantaged people in Western Australia. It aims to alleviate hunger by rescuing perishable, fresh and nutritious food from cafes, caterers, supermarkets and wholesalers and deliver it to disadvantaged, vulnerable people. In August 2012 they reached a total of 100,000kg of food saved and distributed.
If you’re a business owner, manager or employee in NSW wanting to reduce the amount of food waste in your workplace, download Do Something and the NSW EPA’s Food Donation Tool Kit for a full guide on how to start donating your surplus.