Dulcie’s Cottage has joined a special group of small businesses in Merimbula, including Hungry’s Cafe, The Back Street Bakery and Jodie’s at Fishpen who all donate their excess food to the local OzHarvest Sapphire Coast run by Christine Welsh and Peter Buggy.
Mitchell Nadin, of Dulcie’s said that any hospitality business had an element of wastage.
“I think we are very conscious of recycling here and making sure we don’t waste good food,” he said.
On Monday Dulcie’s was handing over a number of burgers, buns and chicken fillets to OzHarvest.
Ms Welsh said that the food would be taken to Pearls Place Pambula, St George’s Uniting Church Eden and the women’s shelter run by Mission Australia in Bega.
“We are encouraging other small businesses to be part of this initiative,” Ms Welsh said.
She also said that the “Good Samaritan Rule” meant that a business could not be sued when food is given in good faith to a charity.
“An incredible four million tonnes of food is wasted in Australia every year and we effectively throw one in five bags of groceries in the bin due to the amount of food we waste,” Ms Welsh said.
Ms Welsh is on the Bega Valley’s Fogo committee. Council has committed to a food recycling program which is due to start next year, much to Ms Welsh’s delight. The program aims to take the 30 per cent of waste food that is thrown into our rubbish bins, out of the waste process and recycle it.
“This is all about recycling and this area is very good at recycling,” Mr Nadin said.
Ms Welsh has also been involved with setting up the Sapphire Community Pantry, a discounted food supply store, located next to the Salvation Army premises on Gipps Street, Bega.
The idea is to supply fruit, vegetables, bread and other basic items free or at a reduced price through the shopfront. Stock is supplied through food rescue organisations Food Bank and OzHarvest.
“Around 30 per cent of the people in the Bega Valley are on benefits either pension, disability or Newstart allowances. You don’t have to prove you’re poor to shop there, sometimes a big electricity bill is enough throw people out for a fortnight or longer,” Ms Welsh said.