Turning five – FareShare’s Brisbane kitchen raises the bar on food relief 

In five short years our Brisbane kitchen has cooked more delicious, nutritious meals than the entire population of Queensland. 

From our first dish of chicken and vegetable casserole, our chefs have cooked 5.8 million meals, harnessed 2.5 million kilos of rescued food, and mobilised nearly 1,500 regular volunteers donating 100,000 hours of their time. 

“The final product is what I am most proud of,” said James Fien, FareShare’s General Manager of Operations.  “A simple meal that has been made with compassion, care and thought to help make someone’s day.”

Meals cooked in the Morningside kitchen have supported communities through Covid, natural disasters and the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, nourishing people from NSW’s flood-hit Northern Rivers, West to St George, and North to Mornington Island and Cooktown.  

The menu has evolved from family serves of traditional casseroles, braises and soups, to single-serve tray meals of roasts, stir fries, seafood, and Thai, Malaysian and Sri Lankan curries. 

James Fien with creamy salmon meals.
FareShare QLD's first volunteer Pat Warnick plates up meals.

“A single-size meals offers true dignity and looks like it has been purchased,” said James. “The 400g meals also give us the capability to create a more gourmet feel and put greater focus on nutrition and balance.”

The first volunteer to sign up was Pat Warnick who is now retired from paid work and says he will continue to volunteer at FareShare for long as he is able and welcome. 

“I think the most memorable moment was when I first had to tray up salmon,” said Pat. “It is one of my favourite dishes and it made me very proud to be able to see that a meal of such quality was able to be prepared and presented in the way it was.”

Our Brisbane kitchen is now focused on creating a new line of non-perishable meals, ideal for providing food relief in remote and regional Australia, and for communities impacted by natural disasters. We are scaling up our First Nations program and exploring breakfast bars to nourish school children.

“I can honestly say I leave here every day tired, but I know we make a difference to so many people,” said James.

FareShare acknowledges all our partners, supporters and volunteers. We extend special thanks to Foodbank Queensland, who supply ingredients and distribute our cooked meals.

Volunteers peel sweet potatoes on day one of our Brisbane kitchen's operations.
Skip to content