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COMFORT FOOD FOR WOMEN FINDING REFUGE

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Once a week FareShare chefs provide a special lunch for women at McAuley House, Victoria’s first purpose built accommodation for women who are homeless.

The community meal for the women, many of whom have also experienced family violence and mental illness, is a weekly event at McAuley House, which opened last year in Footscray.

At a recent lunch, residents described the FareShare food as “absolutely delicious” and “beautiful”.

FareShare chefs Emily and Crickette with a chocolate cake and berry crumble for McAuley women

“Community lunch is always a big one.” says Amy Sattler, Facilitator of McAuley’s Food for My Life nutrition and cooking program. “It’s one opportunity a week to be socially engaged and to eat a nutritious meal. It’s particularly important for our outreach women who are in transitional or public housing.

“Some women come in who were residents in the old McAuley House 20 years ago. It’s about connection – not feeling so isolated. We create that sense of belonging. That once a woman has left she is always welcome back.”

The community lunches are served in a welcoming dining space with sweeping views of Melbourne. Roast meat and vegetables, salads and dessert make up a typical lunch with ingredients supplied by FareShare and desserts prepared in our kitchen. “The women love the FareShare desserts. They’re a real highlight,” says Amy.

“For some residents, cooking is completely overwhelming,” says Amy. “Those who have lived on the street for a long time may have little or no concept of how to prepare a meal.”

Food for My Life aims to nurture independence and equip the women for life after McAuley House. And with two kitchens in the new building, many are cooking for themselves or with some support. Only a handful still need meals cooked for them.

In addition to providing 25 rooms for medium-term accommodation, McAuley House acts as a hub for community services that support over 100 women each year.

 

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.

We’re also inviting budding urban veg growers to visit our kitchen garden at Moorabbin Airport between 10am and 1pm on October 28.

Garden volunteers Susanne and Roger harvest carrots at Moorabbin Airport.

Unlike the Baguley Farm, the airport garden uses raised beds to grow our veggies which include sweet potato, pumpkin, zucchini, turnip, carrot and eggplant.

The Moorabbin Airport kitchen garden is located on Second Avenue, just before the Australian National Aviation Museum. Our volunteers will be waiting to provide guided tours. There will also be an information table with advice on soils and bread-making. Seedlings will be available by gold coin donation and children will be invited to pull up carrots.

FareShare’s kitchen garden program was established in 2016 to help secure our supply of fresh vegetables, essential for maintaining the nutritional content of our meals for people in need. During our first harvest season, our three garden sites contributed one third of the veggies used in our kitchen.

 

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.

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.

The exciting development has been made possible by the generous support of  donors. We would like to acknowledge the following for their wonderful contribution to fighting food waste and hunger:

Sidney Myer Trust,  Gandel Philanthropy, Sargents Pies Charitable Foundation, Mazda Foundation, Campbell Edwards Trust, Sunshine Foundation, Honda Foundation and Westpac Foundation.  We also thank our extraordinarily generous private donors.

FareShare’s Abbotsford kitchen will continue to cook 5,000 meals a day for Victorian charities.

If you would like to volunteer your services, time or donate to the new Brisbane kitchen, please contact us at brisbane@fareshare.net.au.

 

 

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.

Support our chefs with a food drive

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We always need ingredients for our nutritious meals and here’s how you can help!

Whether a school, business, community group or bunch of friends, you can run a food drive to help us source priority ingredients which are hard to acquire through rescue channels.

We need ingredients to fill our bratt pans. Photo: Adrian Lander

Our chefs love rice and pasta to accompany our casseroles, curries and tagines. These are universally popular foods which help make a great meal go a little bit further for someone in need. Dried short-form pasta such as penne is ideal.

We also need dried chickpeas and lentils to add to our nutritious ready-to-eat meals while flour is an essential ingredient for making pastry.

Cans are fantastic and building a can castle can be a fun challenge for a food drive. We make great use of tinned tomatoes and legumes.

Please note fresh meat, vegetables, eggs and bread are not suitable for food drives.

If you’d like to take part in a food drive for FareShare, please email Patrick Lanyon (patrick.lanyon@fareshare.net.au). Our rescue vans will collect 100 kg of priority ingredients 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.

 

YES, WE HAVE A NEW WAREHOUSE!

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FareShare has just made an exciting investment to get more meals out to people in need.

After a long search, we have found an ideal warehouse in Derrimut, close to the food wholesalers in the western suburbs where our vans collect the bulk of our food. And the first food is in!

A man and his van: Pat ponders the possibilities of a warehouse full of food

The 1164 mpremises will increase our storage capacity tenfold and enable us to sort food and undertake basic food prepping on site in a temperature-controlled sorting room.

“This is an absolute game-changer which relieves a bottleneck that has been holding us back,” said FareShare CEO Marcus Godinho. “Anyone familiar with our current warehouse will know what a difference this will make.

“We will now be able to rescue and process more food – particularly valuable bulk product such as fresh meat. We will also be able to manage the vagaries of food rescue by accepting and storing food for the future. ”

The new FareShare distribution centre will house up to 250 pallets. It also offers an additional 90 pallets of freezer storage and 30 pallets of cool room space.

FareShare is extending our program with the Department of Justice and Regulation to enable small groups of offenders serving community-based orders to work at the site. They will assist with a range of task such as washing our homegrown veg, sorting meat and veg, and cleaning vans.

The new facility was made possible by generous financial support from the Ian Potter Foundation, Sargents Pies Charitable Foundation, Perpetual Trustees, Lions Club of the Melbourne Markets, Campbell Edwards Trust and GW Vowell Trust.

The project also received wonderful support from the FareShare community, including donations from many of our volunteers, who together raised more than $108,000.

We thank everyone who has contributed to this dramatic expansion which will enable us to rescue another 750 tonnes of perfectly-good food each year for our kitchen.

FEEDING SOME VERY SPECIAL CHILDREN THIS WINTER

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Our Winter Appeal is focused on creating meals for children who now make up one third of the people seeking food relief in Australia. For many kids, poverty and family breakdown are the main causes of food crisis.

Innocent, Theresa and Koko visit the FareShare kitchen

Others, like the kids helped by the Children First Foundation, face a multitude of challenges. Children like Theresa, Innocent and Koko who have come to Australia for life-changing surgery which isn’t available in their own countries.

Good nutrition is vital to building these children’s strength for surgery and rehabilitation. FareShare is proud to be providing them with nutritious meals and food.

“We serve food that the children like,” explains Pat Weldon, who manages Children First’s Miracle sMiles retreat in Kilmore. “They have to eat. We also need them to be as content and happy as can be.

“One of the biggest parts of our culture here is food. We spend a lot of time around the table – and we need an awful lot of food.

“Sometimes children arrive here very underweight and need to gain weight before they can be anaesthetised for surgery. They also have a lot of exercise and physio post-surgery which burns calories. They can’t afford to lose weight.

“FareShare’s support means we can spend money on the children’s clinical care such as medical equipment, dressings and bandages.  The food element is huge.”

Most kids supported by Children First spend around a year in Australia, often undergoing multiple procedures away from their families. Children like Theresa, who suffered horrific burns as an 8-year-old and couldn’t lift her head until burns contractures were released in Australia.

Please help FareShare provide good food to children to support their growth, social development and wellbeing. Your tax deductible donation will make a tangible difference to the lives of young people doing it tough this winter.