OzHarvest Coffs’ food deliveries in highest-ever demand

During the bush fires, the SES took food out to firies. Ilona and Julie from OzHarvest with SES volunteers.

 

OZHARVEST Coffs is experiencing its busiest ever time right now, founder of the Coffs chapter Julie Ferguson told News Of The Area.

“Across all four programs we have never been so much in demand,” she said.

“OzHarvest has had to increase donations due to the fall-out of the latest COVID outbreak.

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“Our Welfare Program helps those people who are in dire straits.

“We deliver to Pete’s Place five days a week, they told me that more and more of the homeless are accessing the food.”

OzHarvest’s main program is food rescue, which is sorted and distributed to its other programs.

Food rescue is done every morning from four local Woolies and two Aldi stores.

“We also collect from markets and bakeries and many local businesses like the C.ex Club and The Big Banana to name just a couple.

“We also receive donations from the community.

“Our Schools Program delivers food for kids who do not have breakfast and can’t bring lunch to school owing to their circumstances.

“Currently we have twelve schools we support in this way.”

The fourth program is non-food items.

“We deliver books and toys to the Children’s Ward at the hospital; adult clothes go to both to the A&E and Mental Health units; kids’ clothing and household items go to Brighter Futures by Uniting; seniors’ items go to the Waratah and Neighbourhood Centres; Groundworks Youth Centre and Youth Refugees receive our clothes and makeup…the list goes on.”

Food that is not human grade goes to local farms and the Turtle Rescue centre at the Dolphin Marine Conservation Park.

With a team of 30 volunteers working on average of four hours a week, Julie says her full-time volunteer role of 40-60 hours a week is a privilege, and she loves it.

“It’s so rewarding lying in bed each night, feeling joy in my heart, knowing we filled many hungry bellies in Coffs Harbour.

“I know we’ve made a difference to many people’s lives who would have gone hungry,” she said.

For info, go to: https://www.ozharvest.org/how-you-can-help/.

 

By Andrea FERRARI

 

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