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Our new Melbourne warehouse was always predicted to be a gamechanger but it proved to be absolutely critical during FareShare’s response to COVID-19.

Almost every ingredient rescued or donated, and every cooked meal, now passes through the Derrimut warehouse which began operations in 2018.

A committed team operates FareShare’s backend logistics in Melbourne’s outer west ensuring what we rescue, grow and cook is safely stored before being delivered to or collected by frontline charities as ready-to-eat meals.

The facility includes a food preparation room where staff clean and chop vegetables in readiness for our chefs and volunteers in Abbotsford.

“We haven’t had a quiet day in a very long time,” says logistics manager Patrick Lanyon (pictured above at the Derrimut warehouse).

“We wouldn’t have had a chance to operate like we did without it during COVID,” he says. “Derrimut gives us the space and capacity to deal with surprises. We can also handle big donations such as suddenly accepting 20 pallets of meat.”

The day starts early with a team of drivers setting off to collect food from up to 100 Woolworths stores. Meanwhile our chefs choose what to cook and place an order from an ever-changing stock list of ingredients.

The kitchen order is loaded onto a truck for Abbotsford which will later return with the previous day’s cooked meals. Roughly half of these will be collected by front line charities and the remainder will be delivered as far afield as Gippsland, Ballarat and Shepparton.

“There are lots of comings and goings every day,” says Pat. “We also need to constantly manage the chillers and freezers to ensure that they don’t fill up and we use the oldest stock first.

“Derrimut has changed everything for me and increased the capacity of the entire organisation.”

FareShare is now delighted to welcome corporate volunteer groups to our food processing kitchen at Derrimut from mid-May. If you have a crew of six to ten volunteers keen to join us for a two-hour morning shift, please contact info@fareshare.net.au.