From humble beginnings at the beginning of 2015, OzHarvest Sapphire Coast has rescued 33 ½ tonnes of good, excess food and provided it free of charge to local charities and not-for- profit organisations.
That is enough food to provide 100,000 meals for people in need from Eden in the South to Narooma in the North.
OzHarvest Sapphire Coast founders Christine Welsh and Peter Buggy said they could not do that without the help of a dedicated team of volunteers, thoughtful food providers such as supermarkets, cafes, and local growers.
Perishable food is picked up distributed as quickly as possible to organisations such as Pearls Place in Pambula, St George’s Uniting Church and St Vincent de Paul’s outreach service in Eden, the Salvation Army in Merimbula, the Women’s Resource Centre, Women’s Refuge and Katungul Aboriginal Medical Service in Bega, Little Yuin and Bermagui Preschools and others.
Christine Welsh, founder and manager of OzHarvest Sapphire Coast said sometimes it isn’t possible to distribute food immediately so, thanks to the Mumbulla Foundation, it is frozen until receiving organisations can take delivery.
OzHarvest Sapphire Coast was successful in obtaining a grant from the Mumbulla Foundation in 2016 and this enabled the purchase of two 520 litre freezers to replace an old 700 litre freezer. The new freezers provide added storage and, reliability and lower operating costs.
“Without the help of the Mumbulla Foundation we would not be able to collect the food we do and share it with people,” Ms Welsh said.
“Their grant has made a difference to so many lives in the Bega Valley, reducing hunger and need in vulnerable families and filling the tummies of young children.”
OzHarvest Sapphire Coast is the Bega Valley’s local branch of OzHarvest and currently rescues between 2 and 3 tonnes of good, excess food per month for people in need; food that would otherwise go to landfill.
Businesses and primary producers that have safe, excess food suitable for distribution can contact Christine Welsh on 0438 407 364. All food will be distributed to local charity groups and not-for-profit organisations.