The OzHarvest WA team recently celebrated the delivery of their 20 millionth meal to local charity, No Limits Perth, having been working to meet the increasing demand for food relief across the state.
The last 18 months have seen Perth based operations expand to include new food relief services as a result of the pandemic, OzHarvest WA state manager Jennifer Keen said.
“We now have eight yellow vans on the road every week delivering good food to support 160 charities, schools and community groups helping feed those most at risk,” Keen said. “While we’ve had a relative sense of normality this year, there is no doubt that we have still experienced an increased demand for our services. Many of the charities we support have reported a jump in numbers seeking vital food relief due to rising rental and fuel costs which we anticipate will continue into 2022.
“This milestone is the result of huge community support, including our incredible yellow army of more than 200 volunteers, corporate partners, a network of local food donors and of course the charities we support every day. We are incredibly proud to deliver our 20 millionth meal to No Limits Perth today!”
OzHarvest provides more than 1,000kg of nutritious food each week, which is vital to their service, No Limits Perth co-founder and chairperson Janine Wood said.
“At No Limits Perth, we provide household items and food hampers to people in crisis, distributing around 120 hampers each week,” Wood said. “We couldn’t do that without OzHarvest, who provide all the beautiful fresh fruit and vegetables! It’s a really wonderful collaboration, and over the years the OzHarvest drivers have become like family.”
Funding from the Channel 7 Telethon Trust allowed OzHarvest to launch the Nourishing Our Schools program at the beginning of the year, which saw the team increase the number of schools they assist from 24 to 55. The program tackles children’s food insecurity both in schools and at home, providing school communities across Perth with Community Essentials Boxes. These can be distributed to vulnerable families within the school community and School Essentials Boxes for outreach breakfast, lunch and school sport programs.
OzHarvest WA relies on regular food donations from more than 418 local businesses, including National Food Rescue Partner Woolworths who provide a regular supply of fresh and nutritious food to help feed people in need in local communities across the region.
“As the fresh food people, our passion and respect for food is an essential part of who we are and what we do,” Woolworths WA general manager Karl Weber said. “Our commitment to identify and divert surplus fresh food to OzHarvest for local charities like No Limits Perth, who help feed those in need, is a great example of how a little good everyday can make a big difference.”