OzHarvest food rescue program extends to Lower Hunter

OzHarvest Newcastle has secured additional funding from nib foundation to extend its successful food rescue program into the Lower Hunter to help to meet the growing demand for food relief in the region.

The funding support has allowed the local charity to broaden its vital service to the Cessnock and Maitland areas.

OzHarvest Newcastle co-ordinator, Monique Maguire, said the addition of a second van purchased by ResCo Services will allow them to reach more charities and in turn help more vulnerable residents in these areas.

“Our research shows that there is a real need for a service likes ours in the Cessnock and Maitland areas where the number of people seeking food relief from charities has increased over the last few years,” Ms Maguire said.

“It is not only the homeless who need help. Many working families with young children are finding that there is little money left to buy groceries after they have paid all their bills and other essential household expenses. Our service helps address such food security by supplementing food to many charitable organisations,” she added.

Since its establishment in 2010, OzHarvest has rescued more than 380 tonnes of surplus perishable food, the equivalent of almost 1.2 million meals, and delivered them to charities across the Hunter.

nib foundation Chairman, Keith Lynch, said that increasing the foundation’s support of OzHarvest Newcastle was an easy funding decision.

“Many of the our region’s most vulnerable residents depend upon OzHarvest Newcastle for the provision of food, so when their daily runs hit their limits we knew we had to help them expand their service,” Mr Lynch said.

“The extension of the program into the Lower Hunter is expected to see an additional 50,000 meals delivered annually to those in need, while also allowing the current service to be maintained,” he added.

OzHarvest is now seeking potential food donors, such as supermarkets, restaurants, catering companies, function centres and registered clubs, in the Cessnock and Maitland areas. For more information about the program or to get involved please call 4926 3337.