Newsroom | FareShare Food Charity
basic_header

Newsroom

PHIL REAPS THE REWARDS OF HARD WORK

Comments off 61 Views0

Phil Dobson began volunteering at our kitchen garden on the Baguley Farm in December 2016. Over the past 12 months Phil has notched up over 290 hours as a volunteer supervisor making him our outstanding volunteer at the Baguley Farm.

Phil is a keen gardener but with his own Bayside garden badly affected by drought, he decided to volunteer his green thumbs and gardening skills to FareShare.

Phil (right) with fellow volunteers Isabel and Lorraine about to add “fly poo” fertiliser to our next sweet potato crop.

Like many people retired from the paid work force, Phil, a plant manager for an industrial laundry for 40 years, was not ready to hang up his boots.

Gardening for FareShare gives Phil a positive reason to get up in the mornings. Harvest time provides positive reinforcement to him and his crew of their collective efforts. The recent sweet potato harvest was a case in point – with another bumper haul grown and transported to the FareShare kitchen to be incorporated in our meals.

Phil loves his veggies, loves gardening and working as a team in the company of his fellow volunteers. His labour at FareShare is the highlight of his week!

Thanks Phil. Growing veggies on the Baguley Farm is hard physical work and we’re really grateful for your generous contribution.

FINDING REFUGE AND A FARESHARE MEAL

Comments off 189 Views0

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.

STAYING THE DISTANCE – FOR 15 YEARS!

Comments off 85 Views0

Every year during National Volunteer Week we recognise the volunteers who have gone above and beyond.

Meet Vicki, Catherine and Ronna who have just notched up 15 years of loyal service with FareShare.

Vicki, Catherine and Ronna with their long-service awards

The trio first started lending a hand when we were One Umbrella and have witnessed tremendous change as we evolved from a small, nomadic charity making a few hundred pastry meals a week into the FareShare of today.

Vicki, a patch worker who also works part-time in Myer, Catherine a retired primary school teacher, and Ronna, who works in palliative care, have stayed with us through thick and thin as we acquired our own production kitchen and scaled up to cook 5000 meals a week.

Despite the dramatic changes, these three wonderful volunteers have maintained a regular commitment in the kitchen.

While Ronna and Catherine know each other well from sharing a shift for many years, neither had met Vicki until their long service awards were presented on May 24.

We salute all our volunteers – especially those who have supported us for more than a decade.

IF YOU CAN’T TAKE THE HEAT – FIND A FIRE EXPERT!

Comments off 221 Views0

The FareShare kitchen feels like a natural fit for fire ecologist Helen.

She has been volunteering with us for more than three years after moving to Melbourne in 2012 to undertake a PhD investigating the ecological impact of the state’s terrible bushfires of 1939, 1983 and 2009.

Helen (centre) with Jeremy and Despina

Dr Helen has recently started working at AECOM, a global firm where she is a senior ecologist – and no doubt resident ‘fire expert’. Her current project is looking at the impact of solar farms.

Helen loves FareShare and especially her Tuesday evening crew. She enjoys being part of a cohesive team making a valuable contribution to society and she gets to meet people from all walks of life who she would not normally encounter. Her fellow volunteers include a civil celebrant, a winemaker, a banker and a Body Shop employee.

Helen’s favourite task is making quiches and she doesn’t mind boning meat either. In terms of her own skill development, she points to an improvement in her capsicum dicing over the past 3 years!

She reflects that FareShare is much busier than it used to be and notices that there have been process improvements along the way. Helen is keen to extend her volunteering activities and is considering helping out at a soup van.

She loves the public transport and the cultural depth of her adopted city, although she’s not so fond of the changeable Melbourne weather.

We value Helen’s contribution and thank her for her willingness to give time to FareShare to reduce food waste and cook nutritious meals for thousands of Victorians in need.

VOLUNTEERING IS A BREATH OF FRESH AIR FOR MARG

Comments off 258 Views0

After a career spent working indoors as a librarian and editor, Marg Wanklyn decided it was time to head outdoors.

She now volunteers at our Abbotsford kitchen garden where she co-supervises the Wednesday morning shift. While Marg grows vegetables alongside Victoria Park station, husband and fellow FareShare volunteer Russell prepares them in our kitchen.

Marg on harvesting duty at our Abbotsford kitchen garden

When Marg was photographed this week, it was a perfect autumn day. “Where else would you rather be?” she asks. “On a sunny day outside, with a good group of people – doing something really worthwhile.”

But the weather isn’t always kind to our volunteers. Marg notes that our gardeners are hardy folk who are happy to put their backs into the work whatever the weather. Today’s tasks include harvesting capsicum and eggplants, and planting carrot, celery and leek seedlings.

Marg appreciates the team spirit shown by her colleagues and their compatible, cohesive, and self-directed approach. With a few volunteers also working in the kitchen, the crew fully understands the value of homegrown veg to our meals.

A home gardener and potterer, Marg has increased her knowledge immensely. At FareShare she has learned about composting, soil microbes, propagation techniques and crop rotation. All this has been applied to her own garden with excellent results.

Thanks to Marg, and all 180 of our garden volunteers, who helped us grow 38 tonnes of fresh vegetables last year at Abbotsford, Moorabbin Airport and on the Baguley family farm.

A TASTE FOR THE GOOD LIFE AND A LOATHING OF WASTE

Comments off 414 Views0

Meet Kate Barnett, from our Thursday afternoon kitchen crew, a winemaker and woman of refined tastes.

Having managed an extensive zero waste project in a large winery, Kate was initially attracted to FareShare by our mission to cut food waste.

As she Googled FareShare, her interest deepened. “The provision of good food to those in real need was at the heart of FareShare’s appeal. Thirdly, my love of food and cooking was the final defeat!” explains Kate.

Kate in her element with a glass of Heathcote Shiraz

“I return each fortnight because, as a group – the volunteers, chefs and staff – are not necessarily like-minded per se, but we share a social conscience.

“Importantly too, it’s an exceedingly streamlined operation, without any superfluous protocol.  That is to say – volunteering is time well spent!

Her favourite aspect? “I like the eggs.  They’re just so uncompromised.  When they’re not cracked or broken.”

In her professional life Kate has worked in cool and warm climate regions and in both small and large wineries. “I’ve made everything from Adelaide Hills Pinot Noir to Riverina Semillon.  Despite my love of the grape, I took some time out of the winemaking game a couple of years back – essentially a change of pace, largely for my mental health.  And I’m much better for it (albeit poorer). Currently, my time is taken up with a new wine venture GAME of WINES, a customer-hosted wine tasting & education event.

“It’s just me and my very naughty goat at home in Heathcote, so I do relish my regular time in Melbourne with family, friends and the FareShare crew.  If my goat eats another of my indoor plants, she might end up in a FareShare curry!

“I probably re-schedule more shifts than most but the flexibility afforded to volunteers does not go unnoticed.  As does the dedication and talent of the chefs who remarkably remember most of our names most of the time and are willing to share their culinary expertise and valuable time with us.

“I am all for extravagance, even excess, but the futility of WASTE does weigh heavy.”

Thanks Kate for sharing your story and for your ongoing contribution to FareShare.

 

STEP INTO THE FUTURE AT FARESHARE BRISBANE

Comments off 408 Views2

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!

FROM GYNAECOLOGY TO GASTRONOMY

Comments off 482 Views1

Meet David, a retired doctor, who picked up the FareShare kitchen utensils after putting down his medical kit.

David enjoyed a successful practice and career as an obstetrician and gynaecologist until he retired in 2006. He says he felt privileged and trusted in his specialist role but in the end the hours and stress took their toll and he opted for early retirement.

David with fellow volunteers Lilian and Eng

Born and bred in London, he commenced his medical studies there.  An early experience on an obstetrics ward where he was thrown into the heady mix of excited, expectant mothers and newborn babies, proved a thrilling experience and he decided it would be his life’s work.

David married an Aussie lass and they moved to Melbourne in 1972 to complete his specialist training. He began practising in city hospitals around Melbourne including The Mercy and St Vincent’s Private. David worked for 20 years as an obstetrician and then specialised for 10 in gynaecology.

He heard about FareShare through his neighbour Jan, a Tuesday afternoon kitchen volunteer.  Not surprisingly he loves the company of women – in fact he prefers it to the company of men! It follows that David feels right at home in the female-dominated Wednesday afternoon kitchen crew where he has been ensconced since he joined FareShare nearly two years ago.

When David first retired he took up golf, playing 2-3 times a week, getting his handicap down to a low of 4 but “it drove him nuts” and he gave it up. His newest hobby is photography which he combines with his other interests – family, including 3 grandchildren, dog walking and some travel.

Most of his ex-medical colleagues are still on the wards. Judging from his smile, David is a very happy man to be out of the paid workforce and continuing to contribute to the community.

COUNTDOWN ON FOR NEW BRISBANE KITCHEN

Comments off 466 Views2

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

Comments off 780 Views1

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