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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.

“I was thinking what FareShare could do with this money … so I am putting my money where my mouth is.”

Godinho said that, while FareShare had applauded Ms Banham’s generosity, he in no way begrudged those wanting to have a once-in-a-lifetime culinary experience.

“Heston’s arrival is going to be great for our city and wonderful for our restaurant industry – an industry which has been extremely supportive of Fareshare,” said Godinho.

“I know people who got a seat are going to have an amazing food experience. And those that missed out I’m sure are really disappointed.

“But whether you were successful or not, it’s still a chance for all of us to think about the value of food in our lives and take a moment to think about those who don’t have enough to eat.”

Official statistics show that more than 370,000 Victorians go without meals or are food insecure each year while charity Foodbank Australia says that each year 2 million Australians seek assistance to eat, with about half being children.

FareShare is working to alleviate this epidemic of hunger in our community by cooking a million meals a year. It does this with surplus food rescued from supermarkets and other food businesses, with the help of around 600 regular volunteers.

In last week’s opinion piece, Godhino said FareShare wasn’t expecting those missing out on the ballot to follow Ms Banham’s lead, but did suggest they consider spending half the $550 on a great meal at one of Melbourne’s top restaurants, and donating the other half to a Victorian food charity like FareShare, SecondBite or Foodbank.

“That money would still fund FareShare to make 500 meals for disadvantaged Victorians,” he said.


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Ben Hart, Director – Communications

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