A government funded network has helped Southern Highlands charities get food to those who need it most.
The Food Donation Network aims to get excess food from supermarkets into regional communities. By diverting food from landfills the project seeks to reduce greenhouse gases and will help people in need.
Ozharvest Southern Highlands chapter coordinator Jenny O'Regan said the Food Donation Network helped facilitate a new relationship with Woolworths Mittagong, "allowing us to fill a shortfall in fruit and vegetables and hopefully meat going forward".
While the charity has only been collecting from the business since July 5, 2021, they have already diverted 282kg of food.
In total Ozharvest in the Southern Highlands diverted 3405 kilograms of food in June 2021 and dispensed to charities across the region. The chapter collects food from various donors in the Southern Highlands including supermarkets and smaller local businesses.
Ozharvest collects fruit and vegetables, dairy, bread, meat frozen before its expiry date, food with damaged packaging and excess stock fit for human consumption.
They distribute food to numerous organisations across the Southern Highlands including: St Vincent de Paul, Homelessness Service and youth refuge, Bowral Uniting Church Pantry, Pop In domestic violence refuge, Dhungung Share Program, Community Links Bowral and more.
"A lot of people are struggling," Mrs O'Regan said.
While bread is always in plentiful supply, the charity is always in need of fruit and vegetables.
Mrs O'Regan said they also collected excess fruit and vegetables from residents' gardens.
She said if people wanted to get involved they could donate money, food or volunteer.
For more information about Ozharvest email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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