As thousands of Victorians wake up this morning to the disappointment of missing out on a seat at the Fat Duck restaurant next year, food rescue charity FareShare has renewed its calls for Heston Blumanthal’s arrival in Melbourne to spark a conversation about hunger in our backyard.
Emails went out late yesterday to those who had registered for entry into the Fat Duck, with many unsuccessful in their bid to eat at the famed restaurant at a minimum cost of $525.
Last week FareShare CEO Marcus Godinho wrote an opinion article for the Herald Sun, pointing out that for the cost of a single sitting at the Fat Duck, FareShare could make 1050 meals for disadvantaged Victorians.
The article was prompted by a former volunteer, Ann Banham, who told FareShare she had decided to donate the cost of a place at the Fat Duck to the charity instead of going into the ballot.
“I’m feeling sort of astounded that people (including someone I know well) are going into a ballot to be allowed to pay $525 each to dine at Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck restaurant next year,” Ann wrote.
One of Australia’s largest private family foundations, Gandel Philanthropy, is continuing its longstanding commitment to supporting leading food rescue charity FareShare, pledging to match funds raised by FareShare during Melbourne’s Good Food Month in November.
Gandel Philanthropy will match public donations to the value of $50,000, ensuring crowds attending the Good Food Month’s flagship event, the Night Noodle Market, will have even more incentive to support FareShare. The market kicks off on November 14.
FareShare operates Australia’s largest charity kitchen in Abbotsford. It rescues surplus quality food from supermarkets, farms and other businesses and volunteers cook it into 20,000 free nutritious meals for Victorian charities each week.
Leading food rescue charity FareShare is urging Victorians to ditch the habits of the past in order to reduce the mountains of food that will be wasted over the Christmas break.
It is estimated that Australian households will spend $10 billion on food this Christmas, with around 35 per cent going to waste because of over-purchasing and lack of awareness about how easy it is to save uneaten food for another time.
FareShare CEO Marcus Godinho said that many people still cooked Christmas dinner like their parents did, buying huge amounts of food before December 25 out of habit, forgetting that families are smaller and many shops are now open on the day.
Anyone lucky enough to gain entry to the Melbourne version of Heston Blumenthal’s famous Fat Duck restaurant next year may be surprised (and possibly a little alarmed) to learn that they’ll be consuming the equivalent of 1050 meals during their sitting.
But before you start having visions of Monty Python’s Mr Creosote (the obese man in The Meaning of Life, who eats an enormous amount of food at a restaurant then explodes spectacularly all over the other diners), I’m not talking about actual meals here.
No, 1050 is the number of meals that the Melbourne food charity I run, FareShare, could make for $525 — the minimum cost of a seat at the Fat Duck (wine will be extra).
FareShare cooks a million meals a year in our Abbotsford kitchen, with the help of 600 volunteers.