Inaugural Food Rescue Forum

A need for more food donations was the consensus among several food-based Central West community groups who met for the first time in Orange last Wednesday where representatives from Grenfell Food Hall attended.

The groups who included FoodCare Orange and Anglicare Orange gathered for the first Food Rescue Forum where they discussed plans to raise their profiles, encourage more donations and work together.

The Central West Food Rescue Forum was held at the Environmental Learning Facility (ELF) at the Orange Showgrounds due to a grant by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA).

The event was also part of a poster and television campaign featuring season three MasterChef winner Kate Bracks to encourage businesses, individuals, growers and food manufacturers to donate excess food for redistribution. 

The Central West Food Rescue Forum discussed the issues around redistributing unwanted food from businesses to community members in need. 

NetWaste project officer Sam Swain led the forum and said participants including Bathurst City Community Club, Grenfell Food Hall, Cowra Food Hall, Canowindra Food Hall, Emmanuel Care Dubbo, Baptist Care Dubbo, Havannah House Forbes, Hope Care Bathurst as well as Food Bank, Second Bite and the NSW EPA.

“This is a rare opportunity for various community groups to meet with each other and share their knowledge in the hope of further collaboration,” Mr Swain said. 

“There really is a huge need for us to reduce our food waste while at the same time seeing those less fortunate members of the community receive what is, in many instances, good quality, healthy food.” 

William Morrow of Grenfell Food Hall said the main things the charity needs is fresh fruit, vegetables and milk as well as pantry items that can be stored.

Mr Swain said the groups will meet again to develop ideas that were suggested at the forum where William Morrow will represent the Grenfell Food Hall.

“Today was about meeting people seeing if there was ideas they could pick up from one another and if there are collaboration opportunities across the Central West,” he said.