Australia’s leading food rescue organisation, OzHarvest has opened a new food market in Sydney – The OzHarvest Market Waterloo – as part of its new emergency services to address the drastic rise in demand for food relief. In collaboration with City of Sydney and NSW Government a former local grocery store in the Waterloo Estate has been transformed into a food relief market to support the vulnerable community in inner-Sydney.
Following the successful trial of this initiative through the OzHarvest ‘pop up’ Hamper Hub, which distributed 600 bags of free groceries and pre-cooked meals to local residents once a week throughout June and July, the new market will be a more permanent fixture open from Friday-Monday 10 am – 2 pm.
OzHarvest Founder and CEO, Ronni Kahn AO said the new market has been made possible thanks to wonderful partnerships with City of Sydney and the NSW Land and Housing Corporation to take over a long-term lease at the site and serve the local community.
“The impact of COVID-19 has seen food relief hit an all-time high, with so many men, women and children experiencing food insecurity for the first time ever in their lives. OzHarvest is committed to feeding as many people as possible and has expanded its services, beyond the usual food rescue operations to offer new emergency food relief.”
“We know the importance of providing a nourishing meal. It’s more than just food. It means that families who are struggling will be able to take stronger steps to rebuild their lives during this pandemic”Ronni Kahn
Lord Mayor of Sydney Clover Moore, said the City of Sydney identified access to food as a significant issue early in the pandemic and part of their emergency response provided OzHarvest with a $1million donation to help support vulnerable communities.
“No one should be worried about having enough to eat, but for vulnerable communities the Covid-19 crisis has made accessing affordable, nutritious food even harder than usual. We look forward to seeing the OzHarvest Waterloo Market open and providing hampers and groceries to help people during this challenging time.”The Lord Mayor.
Minister for Water, Property and Housing Melinda Pavey said the OzHarvest partnership was another example of the NSW Government working to deliver social housing that reduces disadvantage and improves the quality of life for tenants.
“OzHarvest is providing another healthy ingredient in the recipe for social housing success at the Waterloo Estate. This new initiative will serve the needs of vulnerable people and families by providing them with better access to fresh and affordable food. Community connectivity and renewal is central to the NSW Government building more and better housing throughout NSW; not just inner-city locations.”Minister Pavey
This will be OzHarvest’s second supermarket, following the successful OzHarvest Market in Kensington, opened in April 2017. Starting out as a pop-up project, the Kensington Market based on a ‘take what you need, give if you can’ philosophy, now feeds over 300 customers a day and during lockdown distributed 1,000 free food hampers each week. The impact of the pandemic has seen OzHarvest introduce a range of new emergency food relief services including; regular weekly Hamper Hubs for international students, a mobile market distributing food to regional and bushfire affected communities and pre-cooked meals by OzHarvest chefs and external hospitality partners.
The impact of COVID-19 has seen usual rescued food volumes fluctuate dramatically and for the first time in 16 years, OzHarvest is purchasing food, especially non-perishable items, to help meet the increased demand. The food in this market will be predominantly purchased with the City of Sydney funding with the intention to transition to a rescued-food model down the track, OzHarvest staff will be on-site to manage the market in addition to OzHarvest volunteers and security.
Find out more about the amazing work OzHarvest do at https://www.ozharvest.org/
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