Natalia has travelled a long way from her native Colombia to wind up as a FareShare volunteer.

Her international journey started 10 years ago in the UK where she completed her Masters in industrial engineering and operational management at the University of Nottingham.

After graduating, she headed Down Under with her husband, later taking up work in Melbourne with global food giant Mondelez as a procurement specialist in the packaging area. The role challenged her personal and environmental beliefs and she attempted to reduce waste as much as possible in her buying activities. She now works for another food industry giant, Kraft Heinz, in a different procurement role.

Natalia (pictured right below with fellow volunteer Natalie) was drawn to FareShare two years ago after a corporate volunteering shift because of a strong alignment with her personal values and a desire to tackle the dual issues of food waste and hunger.

“I really like the passion that people bring to FareShare – everyone has a story to tell and a reason to be here,” says Natalia.

As well as putting her efficiency and great people skills to good use by supervising a close-knit, evening kitchen shift, Natalia also spent 18 months as a garden volunteer down on the Baguley Farm.

Natalia reduces food waste whenever she can at home adding leftovers to soups and stews. She also makes Arepas – a Colombian pancake or corn patty which can be filled with a variety of meat, veggie and other leftovers.

Although living in an apartment, she enjoys gardening and has two large compost bins on her balcony for food scraps. She even collects food scraps from her neighbours and takes them to Share Waste for use in community gardens.

Natalia is an avid bike rider and rides to work in Southbank and to FareShare’s kitchen for her fortnightly shift. In her spare time, she loves to travel further afield and is looking forward to seeing her family in Colombia for the first time in four years.

We are grateful that Natalia’s travels have led her to FareShare where she can live out her passions.