Newsroom | FareShare Food Charity

Newsroom

FINDING REFUGE AND A FARESHARE MEAL

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A hot FareShare meal awaits families fleeing family violence at Emerge Women and Children’s Support Network.

“When families arrive at our crisis accommodation, they have often fled their homes with nothing,” explains manager Jessica Woller. “They are traumatised, frightened, confused and unaware of their surroundings.

“It’s great to be able to supply families with nourishing, warm meals straight away. We often heat up FareShare quiches. It’s not just a can of beans or a piece of toast – it’s a real meal.

“The freezer in the communal kitchen is full of FareShare meals. At any time women can open the freezer and heat up a FareShare meal. “

Emerge has been keeping families safe for more than 40 years and is the only specialised domestic violence service in Melbourne’s southern metropolitan area. It provides crisis accommodation, as well as outreach support to women and children still living at home. Emerge also offers art therapy to affected families.

Sharing food plays an important part in helping families feel at home. “It helps them settle in without having to worry about where the next meal will come from,” says Jessica. “It also makes them feel at ease as we spend time together in the kitchen – a familiar scene in an unfamiliar place.”

Emerge supports families into transitional housing while they await a permanent home. Without this support, most vulnerable families would have nowhere to go and would find themselves homeless. The refuge itself is being rebuilt to provide all families with their own space to aid recovery. Once finished, the new 24/7 facility will comprise 10 self-contained units, each with its own kitchen.

For many women there is a long road back to regaining their shattered confidence and sense of self-worth.

FareShare is proud our cooked, nutritious meals help ease the pain and support this recovery.

By contributing to our Winter Appeal, you will help us reach more families in their hour of greatest need.

STEP INTO THE FUTURE AT FARESHARE BRISBANE

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Our dream to take 17 years’ experience of cooking rescued food in Victoria to Queensland is fast becoming a reality. Take a virtual walk through our new 1500 m² premises in Morningside, Brisbane where work is underway to convert a former serum laboratory into a high-volume kitchen.  

Your journey starts at reception where all the activity in the adjacent warehouse to be supplied by Foodbank Qld will be in full view on your left. Follow the corridor past the volunteer lockers and into a huge multi-purpose space facing the kitchens. This area will be available for hire by businesses and for hosting food events.  

Continue to the pièce de résistancethe kitchens! A prominent counter will demonstrate our social impact by displaying the number of meals cooked. Walk in past two rows of sinks, the first for hand washing and opposite our veggie cleaning facilities.

In contrast to our Abbotsford layout, the kitchen on the right will be operated by our regular volunteers with businesses assisting in the smaller kitchen to the left of your view. Once fully kitted out, the kitchens will boast some industrial-scale equipment to assist with food preparation and cooking on an enormous scale – we’re aiming for 5 million meals a year by 2023.

The overhead view shows the shared freezers and cool room, laundry, toilets and storage space. It is envisaged that most of the building will comprise insulated, cool room panelling to help manage local climate conditions.

 Welcome to FareShare Brisbane!

COUNTDOWN ON FOR NEW BRISBANE KITCHEN

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FareShare’s exciting new Brisbane venture to create nutritious meals for Queenslanders is rapidly taking shape.

We now have the keys to our new Morningside facility– a former serum laboratory – close to Foodbank Queensland which will supply us with surplus meat and vegetables to cook with.

 FareShare’s Kellie Watson has relocated to Brisbane to transfer what we have learned in our Abbotsford kitchen to the Sunshine State.

Kellie inspects the Foodbank Queensland warehouse which will supply us with ingredients and distribute our cooked meals.

With research showing  more than 400,000 Queenslanders experience food insecurity, 50 per cent of them children, the need for food relief is paramount.

“We have draft plans to install 900m² of kitchen, two 45-pallet freezers, a 40-pallet cool room and 400m² of warehousing, “said Kellie. “We are aiming to maximise the use of existing infrastructure includings electrics, air-conditioning and refrigeration, and future-proof the development.

“We have finalised our equipment lists which include everything from automated meat dicers to pumpfill stations. The new mixing kettles (electric saucepans) will cook up to 300 litres at a time – double our capacity in Melbourne.”

FareShare  already has a waitlist of people ready to volunteer  in Brisbane. With their support, we  aim to cook 1.25 million meals in the first 12 months and ramp up to five million meals. Our food will include a line especially created for children informed by nutritionists.

Special thanks go to Wiley Industries, a Queensland company who design, build and maintain facilities for their assistance with this exciting project.

If you would like to volunteer or offer your business services to our new Brisbane kitchen, please contact us at brisbane@fareshare.net.au.

A PORT IN A STORM FOR PEOPLE IN CRISIS

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One of the most rewarding aspects of working at FareShare is meeting the people who receive our meals and the charities which support them.

“We see a lot of domestic violence, single mums, and retirees who don’t have the funds to feed themselves,” says Helping Hands CEO Melanie Kent. “It doesn’t take much to be living comfortably in a house to having nothing.

Helping Hands CEO Melanie Kent

“We support a lot of isolated people who have no one. We give them a safe place. We’re like a pseudo family.”

Helping Hands Mission runs community pantries in Airport West, Sunshine and Bridgewater near Bendigo and provides emergency support for Victorians in extreme circumstances. It also serves daily sit-down meals for at least 40 vulnerable people, including small children, at Airport West

The community pantry is stocked with fresh food and staples, together with our nutritious frozen meals. It supports 30 families a day by appointment and many more who walk in in desperate need of food. Some are sleeping rough or in cars so unable to take much away with them.

“It’s a space for people to come and take what’s most useful to them. When your choices have been taken away from you, it makes a world of difference to be able to choose the brands your kids like,” explains Melanie. Continue reading

AVOID FOOD WASTE THIS CHRISTMAS WITH TURKEY NOEL

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Chef Chris Mitchison

Christmas may be over but food waste is acumulating for the unwary.

Our kitchen production manager Chris Mitchison has an ideal solution for leftover turkey. Here’s her recipe for Turkey Noel. For general tips on avoiding food waste this Christmas, please click here.

Turkey Noel

Back in the 70s,  my mother found a recipe in the English Women’s Weekly magazine for Christmas leftovers. It was called Turkey Noel and it was served on Boxing Day, very effectively using up the leftover turkey. It was absolutely delicious. I have modified it to reduce the amount of preparation required – after all who wants to cook again from scratch? Not me! Continue reading

UNVEILING THE SECRETS OF URBAN FARMING

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FareShare will conduct tours of the Baguley farm on 28 October where we have grown 21 tonnes of vegetables to feed Victorians in crisis.

Urban veggie farming on the Baguley farm.

The large plot in Clayton South, generously provided by local flower and herb grower Les Baguley, has proved a productive oasis.

All veggies grown by FareShare are used to add nutrition to our meals. Over the past 12 months, the kitchen garden has yielded more than eight  tonnes of zucchini, five tonnes of pumpkin and four tonnes of carrots.

FareShare will conduct tours of the farm which boasts Les’ famous tropical house, a lavender project and orchard, as well as our own kitchen garden and other plots run by community groups.

The free tours will commence at 10 am, 11am,  12pm, 1pm and 2pm on Saturday, October 28. Booking essential. See here for details. Continue reading

FARESHARE TAKES OFF TO QUEENSLAND

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FareShare is expanding to Queensland to dramatically increase the number of free ready-to-eat meals available for Australians in need.

As Australia’s biggest charity kitchen, we have signed an agreement with Foodbank, Australia’s largest food relief organisation, to reduce food waste and fight hunger in Queensland.

Kellie contemplates the possibilities of creating nutritious meals in the Sunshine State where Foodbank rescues 40 tonnes of food a day

Using our experience garnered over 16 years in Melbourne, FareShare will establish a $4.5 million custom-built, production kitchen in Brisbane with the capacity to cook FIVE MILLION meals a year. Click here to take a virtual tour of the new kitchen.

Led by FareShare’s general manager Kellie Watson, the new high-volume kitchen aims to cook at least one million meals in its first year for Queenslanders in crisis.

The collaboration plays to both partners’ strengths, tackling food insecurity and Australia’s $20 billion food waste problem head on.

FareShare will focus on what we do best – adding value to rescued food by cooking it into free, nutritious meals. Foodbank will collaborate with the food industry and source ingredients  through its existing network. It will then distribute the FareShare meals through the 300 charities it supports in Queensland.

The second kitchen will open in 2018, creating 5,000 wholesome meals a day including casseroles, curries and stir fries. The meals are designed to be easily reheated with no need for full cooking facilities, making them ideal for highly vulnerable people.

Once established, the new production kitchen will have the capacity to supply additional cooked meals to New South Wales and the ACT. Continue reading

OPEN GARDEN SHARES ADVICE ON GROWING URBAN VEGGIES

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Big things are happening underground at FareShare Kitchen Garden, Abbotsford and we’ll be opening our gates to the community on Saturday, October 14 for an insight into urban food production.

FareShare volunteers harvest carrots grown on a former waste ground at Victoria Park

Come and explore the garden and learn how FareShare is utilising small plots of urban land to grow vegetables for our nutritious meals.

Hear from gardening experts and volunteers on everything you need to know about growing food in Melbourne. Topics include edible plants, urban agriculture, bee keeping, worm farming, composting and spring gardening.

Pippa French of 3000 Acres who helped us secure the former waste ground as a kitchen garden, and Chris Williams, from the University of Melbourne’s Burnley horticultural campus, are among the guest speakers.

There will be guided tours, activities for kids and seedlings available by gold coin donation.

Gates open on Lulie St (between Victoria Park station and Victoria Park oval) from 10am to 1pm.

 

WANTED: LENTILS FOR THE FARESHARE KITCHEN

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FareShare is appealing for lentils to add protein to our nutritious meals for people in crisis.

We are short of protein and need five tonnes of lentils to enrich our veggie dishes and make our meat dishes go further.

Production manager Chris Mitchison said lentils are a fantastic and versatile food but not easily accessible through normal food rescue channels.

Chris Mitchison appeals for lentils

“At FareShare we aim to make every meal count knowing it may be the only meal of the day for someone in need,” said Chris.

“We need lentils to add to our vegetables to make dahls and soups. We also use lentils to stretch our curries and casseroles and to give our veggie rolls a protein boost.

“Five tonnes of dried lentils would be a fantastic help to our kitchen. It would enable us to keep producing free, nutritious meals for hundreds of charities including homeless shelters, soup vans and refuges for women fleeing domestic violence.

“Whether a school, business, community group or bunch of friends, you can run a lentil drive to help FareShare source a priority ingredient to tide us over. We also welcome lentil donations from food businesses.”

Lentils have been a valuable source of nutrition for humans for millennia. They contain numerous essential nutrients including folate, iron, thiamin and vitamin B₆, and are high in dietary fibre and protein.

If you’d like to take part in a lentil food drive for FareShare, please email FareShare logistics manager Patrick Lanyon  patrick.lanyon@fareshare.net.au Our food rescue vans will collect 100 kg or more of lentils from the Melbourne area.

FARESHARE FIGHTS HUNGER IN THE CLASSROOM

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FareShare cooks meals to boost the learning potential of children whose lack of nutrition may compromise their education.

Vulnerable teenagers attending the Prahran Community Learning Centre (PCLC) are the latest recipients of regular FareShare meals.

Khalik and Emily cook chili con carne for PCLC students

“As a large proportion of our students come from severely-disadvantaged households or currently have no regular home, the service provided by FareShare is for some the first time that they have had access to regular nutritious meals,”  explains PCLC’s Kirsty Hohenhaus.

“A significant cohort of our student population is secondary-aged students who have disengaged from mainstream education.” 

FareShare chefs prepare three wholesome, two-course meals a week especially for the PCLC students, and pass on rescued snacks, cereals and fruit, together with the odd treat such as home-baked cake.

FareShare’s Kellie Watson said a number of charities providing education for children needed support to ensure their students’ capability was not compromised by hunger or malnutrition.

“That’s where FareShare comes in,” said Kellie. “The agency can focus on education and we can ensure the students receive the nourishment they need to thrive. As well as making sure the food tastes great, our chefs work hard to make it LOOK appetising.”

PCLC provides a safe place for youth to re-engage with education and complete their VCAL, gaining practical work-related experience, as well as literacy and numeracy skills and the opportunity to build personal skills  important for life and work. Once a drop-in centre for residents on the Prahran Housing Estate, PCLC has evolved into a registered training organisation and a Senior Secondary Provider as part of the Learn Local sector.

FareShare has also begun supplying a kindergarten group of disadvantaged four-year-olds with a healthy lunch and snacks two days a week.