On any given night more than 100,000 Australians are homeless – including over 44, 000 children or young people. For many affected by this issue, having regular access to food is a daily struggle. To help meet the growing demand for food relief across the Hunter region, OzHarvest Newcastle has expanded its successful food rescue program into the Port Stephens area.
Additional funding from long-term OzHarvest partner, nib foundation, has enabled the us to broaden our vital service that currently covers an area network across eight major cities, to now include Nelson Bay and Salamander Bay.
OzHarvest Newcastle Manager, Monique Maguire, said the wonderful support from local food donors and an increase in demand has been a major reason for extending the service.
“We have witnessed an increase in demand for food relief everywhere, not just in Port Stephens. Local supermarkets such as our food rescue partners, Woolworths, have been really enthusiastic regarding food rescue and have donated generously,” 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 essentials household expenses. Our service helps address such food insecurity by supplementing food to many charitable organisations,” she added.
Since its establishment in 2010, OzHarvest Newcastle has rescued and delivered more than 1.3 million kilograms of surplus food (the equivalent of 3.4 million meals).
nib foundation Executive Officer, Amy Tribe, described how passionate the foundation is towards helping OzHarvest deliver its invaluable service and the satisfaction gained from helping the charity broaden its reach across the Hunter.
“We are proud to have partnered with OzHarvest Newcastle from its humble beginnings. To have helped the charity develop into the local success story that it is today, having made a difference to the lives of thousands of the Hunter’s most vulnerable residents, gives us an overwhelming sense of pride,” said Ms Tribe.
“In 2013 our funding supported the expansion of OzHarvest Newcastle’s services to the Lower Hunter regions of Cessnock and Maitland. We are so excited to continue working with the charity as it takes this next big step, reaching out to those in need across the Port Stephens area.”
OzHarvest is now seeking potential food donors, such as farmers, retailers, catering companies, registered clubs and supermarkets in Port Stephens. For more information about OzHarvest or to get involved please call 4940 0767.