December | 2016 | FareShare Food Charity

Monthly Archives: December 2016


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A community effort led by the Father Bob Maguire Foundation and FareShare ensured some of Melbourne’s most disadvantaged people got their fair share this Christmas.

Father Bob’s traditional Christmas lunch was threatened after previous catering arrangements fell through. FareShare stepped in to cook the feast with all the trimmings at Collingwood Town Hall on Friday 23 December.

More than 300 guests, including dozens of children, sat down to a sumptuous Christmas lunch prepared from food donated by Woolworths and served by volunteers.

Ty, 7, and mum Belinda, join Father Bob for Christmas lunch

Ty, 7, and mum Belinda, join Father Bob for Christmas lunch

The menu comprised roasted lemon & oregano chicken, ham off the bone and roast vegetables, followed by sticky date pudding with salted caramel sauce and ice cream.

“We are extremely grateful for FareShare and our volunteers for enabling us to host this lunch, so that nobody is left behind this Christmas,” said Fr Bob Maguire.

FareShare cooks 5,000 nutritious meals every day for people doing it tough, including growing numbers of people experiencing homelessness and isolation in Melbourne.

“With three million Australians – including more than 730,000 children – now living below the poverty line, many cannot afford the delicious, nutritious food we take for granted during the festive season,” said FareShare’s Lucy Farmer.


Chefs Chris and Joss serve up Woolies hams cooked to perfection

“We believe everyone should get their fair share this Christmas. There’s no more important time for the community to come together around food.”

Father Bob’s, the major foodbank, material aid provider and legal support for the South Melbourne area, also provided Christmas hampers to more than 1,000 families this week.

FareShare is supporting a number of charity Christmas lunches with rescued and donated food this year including a sit-down lunch for 250 at Richmond Churches Food Centre on Christmas day and a community lunch for 85 at the Wellington Centre.


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Melbourne City FC’s Christmas Volunteer Week brought the players to the FareShare kitchen to cook meals for people in need.

Together with their ambassador Melbourne chef Shane Delia, the players donned FareShare aprons, rolled up their sleeves and got stuck into chopping vegetables, cracking eggs and beating quiche mix.

Socceroo hero Tim Cahill even lent his muscle to stirring the 150 litre Bratt pan with a chicken tagine created by Shane Delia.

Tim Cahill lends a hand in the FareShare kitchen

Tim Cahill lends a hand in the FareShare kitchen

From the kitchen, Tim Cahill said: “This is my first Christmas here, and I feel so proud to be a Melbourne City player when we do activities that benefit our community. The community ethos at the Club is awesome, and I just hope that our contribution will help bring a little bit of joy this Christmas.

The players attracted a host of media ahead of their derby fixture this weekend helping to shine a light on food poverty and those doing it tough this festive season.”

Marcus Godinho, FareShare CEO, said: “It’s fantastic to see Melbourne City’s players and staff making a direct contribution to fighting hunger in our city.

“FareShare relies on volunteers and the goodwill of the community to rescue food, cook it and distribute it to those in need. We commend Melbourne City for making a difference and helping us spread the joy of delicious food this festive season to people who can’t afford it.”

All food cooked by the players will be distributed to people in crisis. The recipe will be shared on SBS next year in a new cooking series with Shane Delia.



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As we count down to Christmas, FareShare encourages our generous supporters to consider donating to our Christmas Appeal to address the urgent problem of food poverty.

With three million Australians – including more than 730,000 children – now living below the poverty line, many cannot afford the delicious, nutritious food we take for granted during the festive season.

At this time of giving, we have seen how generosity can change lives and replace crisis with hope.

Ali: "I'm happy now"

Ali: “I’ve started a new life”

Take Ali, a refugee from Iran who arrived in Australia in 2011 in desperate circumstances. He found his way to Kingston City Church and was given food when he needed it most.

Soon he wanted to know how he could help others. Five years on, Ali is still volunteering and has become an integral member of the church’s Emergency Resources team.

Every week FareShare drops off food including fresh veggies, fruit, eggs, dairy and savoury pastries. The centre stores FareShare’s cooked meals for emergencies.

“We never turn anyone away,” says Pastor Joy Hansen who set up Emergency Resources 21 years ago. “If FareShare didn’t exist, we couldn’t do it. The FareShare quiches are probably the most popular.”

Sadly the demand keeps growing and FareShare needs your support to keep up.

Next year the church is building a new warehouse with a walk in cool room and freezer. “We will need heaps more of FareShare’s meals,” said Joy. “FareShare’s frozen meals really help. They also give a single mum or dad a break from cooking.”

About a third of the centre’s volunteers are refugees and former food recipients. For them, receiving is a door to giving.

“People here come for food parcels and end up being volunteers,” says Joy. “Some people have been unemployed, then got experience with us and gone on to get a job. Ali came to receive but he wanted to give back. He asked how he could help.”

In spite of serious health issues, Ali sets up tables, orders and collects food, unloads the van, sorts food and allocates food parcels according to the size of the family.

“I didn’t have a family when I came to Australia. Now all my family is here,” he says pointing to his co-workers. “I’m happy. I’ve started a new life.”

Like Joy and Ali, FareShare believe everyone needs a helping hand out of food poverty. Please consider a tax deductible donation this Christmas and help us spread the nourishment and joy of nutritious food to everyone in our community.


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FareShare Kitchen Garden, Abbotsford, will soon be carpeted by a novel crop of sweet potatoes.

The unusual planting of five varieties of sweet potato is part of a collaboration with Burnley Campus (University of Melbourne) and Carlton Neighbourhood Learning Centre (CNLC) with support from SUSTAIN and the City of Yarra.

Lia de Gruchy, Susie Scott, Chris Williams and Craig Baille prepare to plant

Lia de Gruchy & Chris Williams from Burnley with FareShare garden manager Susie Scott and Craig Baillie from Urban Agronomist.

Sweet potatoes are particularly valued by some migrant communities and charities which FareShare supports with meals. They are robust plants and Burnley’s Dr Chris Williams is confident they will provide excellent ground cover as well as nutritious tubers.

The vegetables, which are not available commercially, were grown by horticulture students at Burnley and CNLC students as part of a University grant to provide horticultural training for propagating culturally-appropriate food.

The Novel Crops Project is exploring the potential of neglected plants for use in domestic, community and public food gardens. The varieties planted in Abbotsford come from PNG, New Zealand and America and should produce their first crop in about three months.


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FareShare is urging consumers to think carefully about food waste when shopping this festive season.

According to the Australian Retailers Association and Roy Morgan Research, Australians will spend an astonishing $19 billion on food in the lead up to Christmas. A significant proportion of this will be dumped.

FareShare rescues food that would otherwise go to waste and cooks 1.2m meals a year for people in need. However, much of the food left over from Christmas, such as cooked meat, cannot be donated for human consumption and ends up in landfill causing serious pollution.

FareShare CEO Marcus Godinho said it’s possible to enjoy a fantastic feast without waste through proper meal planning, storage and re-use of ingredients.

Landfill with bulldozer working, against beautiful blue sky full of sea birds. Great for environment and ecological themes

The ugly face of landfill

“Many of us fall into the trap of catering for far more people than we will actually have around the table. For example, you don’t need a whole turkey to feed a family of six – a turkey breast roll will be equally delicious.

“A careful menu to guide you through the festive season can help ensure everyone is catered for without creating needless waste.”

FareShare offers the following tips to cut food waste and the associated loss of energy, water and other resources.

  1. Create a shopping list tailored to the number of guests you are catering for or sharing with.
  2. Be creative about recycling any leftovers. Cooked meat makes for great sandwiches, casseroles, stir fries, salads etc. See our chefs’ recipes for suggestions.
  3. Refrigerate leftovers in appropriate containers to extend their lifetime.
  4. Know the difference between ‘use by’ and ‘best before’. The latter is a guide for optimum condition and doesn’t mean the food is no longer edible.
  5. Take advantage of holiday opening hours which make it easy to shop for last minute items.

Godinho said that while Christmas is a time of feast and celebration for most, there are thousands of Victorians struggling to put food on the table.

This year FareShare is catering for hundreds of vulnerable families who would otherwise miss out on a Christmas dinner.

“It is a tragedy that so much food goes to waste when people in crisis can’t afford nutritious meals,” said Godinho.


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Here are two simple suggestions from FareShare chefs to recycle Christmas leftovers and cut food waste.

Chef Crickette’s Ham, Veggie & Potato patties


150g leftover ham, finely choppedcrickette

150g leftover cooked veggies, roughly chopped

800g potatoes, peeled, chopped & boiled

1 tbl wholegrain mustard

2 tbl fresh herbs e.g. chives, parsley, dill or whatever is left over

1 egg lightly beaten


Mash boiled potatoes and add herbs, salt and pepper, mustard, egg, veggies and ham. Massage into balls with wet hands to make up to 20 patties and dust with a little flour. Shallow fry in vegetable or canola oil for about 3-4 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towel and serve with salad.

Chef Chris’  Christmas Pizza

This is a satisfying thing I do on Boxing Day when I have leftovers to use up.

Make a quick pizza base:

2 cups flour

2 tablespoons yoghurt

2 tablespoons olive oil

Some water – about 1/3 cup.

¼ teaspoon salt

Put flour in a bowl and add salt. Mix yoghurt, olive oil and water together and add to flour. Mix to a firm dough (use a little more water if necessary). Push out thinly onto a pizza base (might make 2 small or 1 large).

Spray pizza base with olive oil and spread with tomato paste. Top with shredded cooked turkey, then cover turkey with grated tasty cheese. Layer with sliced capsicum, halved cherry tomatoes, leftover sliced roast pumpkin or anything else at hand. Spray again with olive oil.

Bake in a 200 degree oven till brown and crispy. If you have some, add rocket or baby spinach when the pizza comes out of the oven and let it wilt.

Delicious with the last dregs of Christmas cheer!