The inaugural Food Rescue Week begins in Perth tomorrow to promote the Food Rescue initiative, with the State Buildings, The Trustee and Lalla Rookh among the venues promoting the cause.
The inaugural Food Rescue Week begins in Perth tomorrow to promote the Food Rescue initiative, with the State Buildings, The Trustee and Lalla Rookh among the venues backing the cause.
Developed by UnitingCare West and operating in Perth since 2011, Food Rescue redistributes unused fresh food from supermarkets, cafes, caterers and wholesalers to more than 70 charities each week to help feed the homeless, those in women’s refuge centres, vulnerable youth, refugees and indigenous communities.
During the past year, Food Rescue has ‘rescued’ 478,000 kilograms of fresh food in Western Australia, and currently feeds more than 11,000 disadvantaged people each week.
Rescued food includes 35,000 items of prepared and unsold meals collected from participating restaurants and cafes in the CBD via its ‘cargo carts’, an initiative introduced in 2014 and manned by corporate and school volunteers and then driven directly to charities.
With the help of 19 top hospitality venues around Perth, Food Rescue tomorrow will launch its latest operation, its first ‘I Love Food Rescue’ campaign, to increase awareness of its rescue program through signage, staff button badges, donation boxes and menus showcased at each participating eatery as well as supermarkets.
Some eateries will also hold special events over the next week including the Cooking Professor and Taste Buds Cooking studio both encouraging students in their cooking classes to prepare Christmas goodies for theFood Rescue appeal.
Must Wine bar will hold a ‘Taste of Must’ event Tuesday night to push support.
Food Rescue manager Julie Broad said the program was developed in partnership with Food Rescue’s food ambassadors, a collection of the state’s top foodies – Don Hancey, Russell Blaikie, Vince Gareffa, Sophie Budd, Chris Taylor, Dan Fisher and Caroline Taylor.
“The idea has been in the pipeline for about a year,” Ms Broad told Business News.
“It started from a restaurateur saying that he really wanted to get behind Food Rescue and do something, so it grew organically from there.
“Chefs understand food wastage and try to use every last item when they make something, so they’re really passionate about this too, so it was quite easy to connect with the hospitality industry.”
Ms Broad said running the inaugural event just before Christmas time was not coincidental.
“Everyone’s compassionate at Christmas and there are lots of people dining in for Christmas parties,” she said.
“It’s a way for us to connect with chefs but also the patrons; it’s the perfect time to let everyone know while they are sitting there eating a beautiful meal what Food Rescue does for disadvantaged communities.”
By visiting a Food Rescue Week venue between December 3 and 9, patrons can support the charity in continuing to provide fresh and nutritious food to those Perth people in need.
For a full list of participating venues click here.