End of an era for OzHarvest’s Julie Ferguson

Coffs Harbour OzHarvest legend Julie Ferguson with volunteers welcoming Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh (left) and NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet to OzHarvest’s Coffs site.

JULIE Ferguson, founder of the Coffs Harbour chapter of food rescue charity OzHarvest, has folded up her famous yellow t-shirt for the last time and stepped down from her leadership role.

“I am very proud of all the achievements over the years especially since l started with a little car and one room at home,” Julie told News Of The Area.

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With almost ten years under her belt building and leading the OzHarvest Coffs Harbour chapter, the time has come to hand over to someone else.

“As they say, all good things must come to an end, and after a restructure within OzHarvest l found myself driving a truck and unfortunately my body started to let me know that it wasn’t onboard with this so l am now going to take on some less strenuous volunteer activities in the community.”

Julie’s motivation for starting OzHarvest Coffs Harbour was the childhood experience of going to school hungry due to circumstances at home.

“It was in 2013 that l started setting up the chapter after visiting the head office in Sydney and seeing how they did this wonderful work.”

If she could prevent families and the homeless from being hungry, achieving that became her goal.

Starting from one room in her home where she collected surplus and donated food to be redistributed, she used her own car to deliver to the hungry of Coffs Harbour.

“Through my passion and commitment, l managed to secure a warehouse, three vans and 30 volunteers to support me through this journey.”

Julie would like to thank all the local people who believed in both her and the idea of a food rescue program.

“The Coffs community has really been beside me the whole way.

“I have so many amazing memories of people l have met, and experiences l have had, l can’t pick one out above any other, but l can tell you that all those relationships l have acquired during my time at OzHarvest, will survive well into the future.”

One change that Julie has seen over the years is that our homeless in Coffs Harbour thought they had to hide and remain unseen when she first started.

“l made it my mission to coax them out and encouraged them to become part of society and feel comfortable being in that space,” she said.

Julie has handed on the baton to the Coffs Harbour logistics team.

For food rescue, people can contact the team on 1800108006.

OzHarvest founder and CEO, Ronni Kahn is coming to Coffs Harbour to personally thank Julie and send her off in style with an appreciation gathering on Friday 21 October.


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