Apparently our wonderful supermarket duopoly has very narrow fruit and veg specifications. We consumers must not be offered ‘ugly’ fruit and veg. It must be the right shape, colour and look! A demanding lot, aren’t we????
The question is, what happens to the ‘less than perfect’ fruit and veg?
Foodbank NSW is running a ‘Waste Not Want Not’ program providing fresh fruit and vegetables to families in NSW and the ACT who rely on hunger relief – currently up to 60,000 people every week.
The head of Foodbank NSW, Gerry Andersen, says the increasing costs of utilities and groceries has led to many more people needing help to feed families.
”Our information says that there are 2 million Australians [who] need our help at least once during the year: 1 million need our help on a weekly basis, and half of [those] are kids.”
MORE than 2 million Australians seek food aid each year, and now farmers with surplus fruit and veg are helping out and enjoying it.
Foodbank NSW has already delivered 1,300 pumpkins, 9,000 kg of oranges and 10,000 kg of potatoes.
Frank Scarfone, an orange grower at Tharbogang, near Griffith, a few weeks ago threw out a load of oranges as they did not meet the supermarkets’ exacting commercial standards. He has now become involved in Foodbank’s Waste Not Want Not program.
Frank is happy to send as much of his fruit as he can to Foodbank. It cuts wastage and he is contributing to a project he feels is worthy.
Local chaplain, Julie Greig, drew together the Riverina community around Carrathool shire and Foodbank NSW.
Working with the council’s community development officer and the Department of Primary Industry’s drought support worker, Julie has been overwhelmed at the support she is receiving. She says:
”The extraordinary thing about it is the depth of community commitment for the project..
People in Hillston have become so excited about it as their community project that I have people stopping me on the streets going ‘How can I help?’
The last time we sent a group out to pick up pumpkins the school sent students and teachers, gave us their school bus and filled it with diesel. So it’s become a whole community project.”
The organisation works with registered charities to distribute food donated by farmers and corporations. It has just launched its Waste Not Want Not initiative and is taking delivery of food from the Riverina where farmers have given tonnes of fresh produce to Sydney families.
The Department of Community Services contributes to transport costs and Gerry Andersen says he is working hard to encourage the government to throw further support behind the organisation.
You can visit the website at www.foodbank.com.au.
FOODBANK PHONE NUMBERS
Victoria: (03) 9362 8300
New South Wales: (02) 9756 3099
Queensland: (07) 3395 8422
South Australia: (08) 8351 1136
Western Australia: (08) 9258 9277
THIS is a great project!