At FareShare we pride ourselves on saying yes. We never turn down free, nutritious food that we can cook with.
But that may soon be about to change. If we don’t acquire more warehouse and freezer space, we will face the heartbreaking situation of rejecting perfectly good meat, eggs, vegetables and grain – simply because we have nowhere to put them.
We have the food donors, volunteers and kitchen facilities to double production. Our Abbotsford warehouse is holding us back, creating a bottleneck and stopping us from cooking more meals.
Can you help us achieve a game-changer? We are appealing for financial support to establish a new food hub. The new warehouse would be transformational, more than quadrupling our freezer capacity and boosting our food storage tenfold.
The Ian Potter Foundation has pledged to give us $500,000 to make this critical investment possible. The catch is, we need to match that amount to make it a reality. Your tax deductible donation can help us achieve this transformation and support another 10,000 people a year who are unable to put food on the table.
Last month Leader News called to ask if FareShare could help out a charity which had run out of food.
Zoren Gajic & Pastor Loren Pratt from Northpoint gratefully receive emergency food supplies from Marcus Godinho.
The Northpoint Centre Food Pantry in Tullamarine was unable to fill the food parcels it hands out to 950 disadvantaged people a week.
Fortunately, FareShare managed to find enough food to tide them over the shortfall so no one missed out. This is how the Leader reported the story.
Demand at Northpoint has skyrocketed. In 2014 the community food pantry, which supports disadvantaged people in Melton, Sunshine, Coolaroo, Coburg and Sunbury, distributed 14,500 food parcels. Last year the number had climbed to 20,750 and this year it could be as high as 25,000.
Other charities are telling us the same thing. More and more people are struggling to afford nutritious food.
FareShare has the volunteers, rescued food and kitchen facilities to cook TWO MILLION meals a year but our warehouse is holding us back.
The Ian Potter Foundation has pledged to give us $500,000 to purchase a new warehouse. However, we need to match the funds to make this critical investment happen. We are $85,000 short of the total required to lock in the grant and are appealing to all our friends to consider a tax deductible donation.
With the extra space we desperately need to store, freeze, chill and sort food, FareShare could support another 10,000 people who are struggling to put food on the table.
On the eve of National Volunteer Week, FareShare has paid tribute to the thousands of people who volunteer each year with a video.
FareShare rescues surplus food and cooks 5000 free, nutritious meals a day for charities with the support of 750 regular volunteers. Another 3000 secondary students and 3000 corporate volunteers help out in our kitchen each year.
“Volunteers are the heart of FareShare,” said CEO Marcus Godinho. “With our ratio of 50 regular volunteers to every staff member, we couldn’t exist without them. From the time we set out baking a few hundred pies a week, to cooking more than one million meals a year today, we have been entirely dependent upon volunteers.
“Volunteers drive the vans that rescue and deliver food, prepare meals under the guidance of experienced chefs, grow vegetables in our kitchen gardens and assist with a range of professional and administrative tasks.”
They include people at all stages of life – from students to retirees – with the majority finding time around their employment arrangements. Nearly two thirds also volunteer with other organisations.
Why do they do it? According to our April 2016 volunteer survey, the biggest motivation is the desire to give back to the community. Asked for their primary motivation, 42 per cent said they “felt very fortunate and want to help others who are less so,” 30 per cent were “motivated to help feed people who go without” and 18 per cent were “passionate about food rescue.”
Overall more than 99 per cent said they would recommend volunteering at FareShare where there are currently 350 people on the waiting list for kitchen shifts.
“Volunteering at FareShare is fun, rewarding and sociable,” said volunteer manager Rosie Kelly. “Most volunteer roles require no special skills and empower people to make a tangible contribution to tackling food waste and hunger in our community.”