OzHarvest Cairns celebrated a huge milestone in their food rescue operations recently, with the delivery of its one millionth meal to local charity The Maraway Hub in Manunda. The iconic yellow van, friendly driver Laurent Capelasse and 25 wonderful volunteers are regular features in the local community.
OzHarvest Queensland Manager, Anthony Dunne explained the impact of COVID-19 has seen more people than ever experiencing food insecurity and the charity has had to increase food relief efforts to meet demand.
“There are so many people who have never faced this level of hardship before now and are unsure of what the future holds for them. Being able to get good food to those who need it most means they have one less thing to worry about. OzHarvest has increased our food rescue and relief operations from four to five days a week, thanks to the support of federal government and BHP Vital Resources funding. This extra day will allow us to deliver food to the Tablelands and Mareeba, up to Mossman and Port Douglas. These areas have immense need, but due to capacity limitations we have been unable to reach them before.”
“We’ve also been working with Cairns hospitality businesses to both stimulate the sector and produce delicious cooked meals. These nutritious meals are made fresh and distributed to communities in need in addition to our usual rescued food,” said Anthony.
Maraway Hub Community Manager, Reggie Jackson said the regular supply of fresh food from OzHarvest means they are able to feed many families every week.
“It’s hard to put into words how grateful we are to OzHarvest for their continued support over the years. The deliveries mean we can provide fresh, nutritious food to families that are struggling. I’ve seen parents leaving the Hub in tears because the OzHarvest food means they can feed their kids and can make it through that week.”
OzHarvest Cairns relies on regular food donations from 15 local businesses, including National Food Rescue Partner Woolworths, which provides a regular supply of fresh and nutritious surplus food from each of its six stores in Cairns to help support more than 21 charities in the region.
Paul Abbenbroek store manager at Woolworths Redlynch donates over 500kgs of fresh surplus food every month. “As the fresh food people, our love and respect for food is an essential part of who we are, and what we do. The ability to identify and divert our surplus fresh food to OzHarvest for local charities like The Maraway Hub who help feed those in need, is a critical part of our day-to-day operations and support of the community.”
Support is always needed locally from food donors to volunteers who all play a vital role in helping to feed hungry people in the local area. To help the OzHarvest Cairns team please contact 07 3708 1380 or to make a donation go to ozharvest.org.