Australia’s largest charity kitchen gets cooking in Queensland

fullsizeoutput_179f

FareShare fired up the ovens of a kitchen the size of a basketball court in Queensland on October 9.

The charity will cook up nutritious surplus food for free to help people needing a meal.

The fight against hunger and food waste has been created in collaboration with Foodbank –  Australia’s largest food relief organisation.

FareShare Queensland director Kellie Watson said FareShare aims to cook more than one million free, nutritious meals in its first year of operation, in Morningside, and to scale up to five million meals a year.

READ: FareShare and Wiley partner to feed Brisbane’s hungry

“Our custom-built kitchen will be powered by volunteers with more than 400 Brisbanites already registered to lend a hand,” said Watson.

The kitchen was built at cost by Wiley.

It includes Stommpy bollards and safety protection equipment, installed by Wiley employees.

Wiley managing director Tom Wiley said giving back to the community is part of the company’s core values.

The $5 million kitchen, equipped with high volume cooking appliances including 300 litre
electric saucepans, will initially harness 500 tonnes of surplus meat and vegetables from
Foodbank.

Experienced chefs will supervise volunteers to cook a daily mystery box of
ingredients into tasty, ready-to-eat meals such as casseroles, curries and stir fries.

All FareShare meals are designed to be easily reheated with no need for full cooking
facilities, making them ideal for highly vulnerable people struggling to put food on the table.

Foodbank will access surplus meat and vegetables to supply the kitchen and distribute the
cooked meals to Queenslanders in need through its existing network of 280 registered
charities.

Foodbank Queensland CEO Michael Rose said last year alone, Foodbank received more than five million kg of fresh fruit and vegetables.

“The top five farm donors from Bundaberg donated a staggering 1.5m kgs and
stand ready to donate even more once the kitchen comes on line,” he said.

“The FareShare kitchen will provide an opportunity for Foodbank to rescue even more food, especially perishables and to reduce waste for donors, by converting surplus food into ready-made meals, rather than sending it to landfill,” said Rose.