Woolworths and Australian food rescue organisation, OzHarvest, have reached a major milestone, with the supermarket having donated the equivalent of 50 million meals to the charity since their partnership began.
The 50 millionth meal was rescued from Woolworths Redlynch in Cairns, and delivered to St Margaret’s House, a shelter run by Anglicare North Queensland Ltd for young women experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
OzHarvest has been supporting St Margaret’s House since 2017 and delivers around 100 meals a week.
Woolworths is OzHarvest’s National Food Rescue partner, and biggest food donor, providing over half of the organisation’s rescued food, and supporting over 1,800 charities. Collected from more than 550 stores across the country, 75 percent of the food is fresh fruit and vegetables, dairy, meat, and fish.
Since 2014, Woolworths and OzHarvest have saved 18,000 tonnes of food from ending up in landfill, subsequently preventing 118,543 tonnes of CO2-emissions from damaging the environment. One in six Australian adults are also now considered severely food insecure and more than half of the people impacted by food insecurity go a full day each week without eating.
OzHarvest Founder and CEO, Ronni Kahn, said: “Woolworths have been an incredible supporter, right from the early days. Over the last eight years, we’ve worked together to improve both the quality and quantity of rescued food, to ensure the people we feed have regular access to fresh and nutritious produce every day. My heartfelt thanks goes to the entire Woolworths team – we simply could not do what we do without them.”
Woolworths Group Chief Marketing Officer Andrew Hicks said: “As today’s fresh food people, our goal is to make seasonal and nutritious food accessible to all Australians. Our longstanding partnership with OzHarvest allows us to not only provide surplus fresh food to Australians in need, but also help the environment by reducing potential food waste.
“The 50 million meals milestone is a testament to the dedication of the OzHarvest and Woolworths teams in their care for fresh food and for our Australian communities, and proves a little good everyday can make a big difference.”
Dearne Lang, Project Manager at the St Margaret’s House said: “We are so grateful for the food supplied by OzHarvest and Woolworths. There is such a great variety of produce that we wouldn’t normally have, allowing the young women we support to try new and nutritious food, while improving their skills when we all prepare meals together.”
Woolworths has partnered with OzHarvest on a number of initiatives over the years including community food drives, Round Up appeals, increased its commitment during COVID and devastating floods, and donates a portion of proceeds from each sale of OzHarvest Santa Cookies during the Christmas season.
In a bid to reduce food wastage from her events business, Ronni Kahn AO founded OzHarvest starting out with one van in Sydney, rescuing and delivering food to local charities. Since then, OzHarvest has become Australia’s leading food rescue organisation, and now operates nationally with an army of volunteers.