Demand for food relief has skyrocketed, increasing by up to 50% since the coronavirus pandemic began and Brisbane City Council’s partnership with OzHarvest is helping feed residents in need.
Lord Mayor Adrian Schinner said last year Council committed $300,000 to fund three OzHarvest refrigerated food rescue vehicles for an entire year and today marked the milestone one millionth meal delivery.
“Coronavirus pandemic has seen more residents face unprecedented levels of hardship and struggle to put food on their tables and feed their families,” Cr Schrinner said.
“When we sponsored the three food vehicles, we could never have anticipated the extra demand coronavirus brought on OzHarvest’s resources as more people sought food relief.”
Cr Schrinner said OzHarvest delivers more than 3.5 million meals annually to more than 130 Brisbane charities.
“With food demand increasing by more than half, we are proud to help OzHarvest fight hunger and ensure residents doing it tough have one less thing to worry about,” he said.
“OzHarvest measures impact through social return on investment, with every dollar returning a community benefit of $7.70 based on charity food expenditure savings, public health and welfare needs.
“Council’s three food rescue vans are helping deliver a social return of $2.3 million. We are also fighting the battle against food waste by diverting more than 330,000 kilograms of quality food from landfill.”
OzHarvest Queensland State Manager Anthony Dunne said Council’s support of OzHarvest’s work to feed those in need and fight food waste had been critical.
“Council’s support has been crucial in keeping our wheels on the road, providing consistent, free food relief to more than 130 charities in greater Brisbane and being able to respond to the immense increase in demand as we all face coronavirus,” Mr Dunne said.
Many local Brisbane charities and not for profits were forced to close their doors during lockdown as the coronavirus pandemic left them unable to afford or cope with the increased demand for their services.
Coorparoo’s Stepping Stone Clubhouse, which helps support people experiencing mental illness, was a charity that had to close when coronavirus hit but bounced back thanks to OzHarvest.
Stepping Stone Clubhouse Program Director Jaimi Rogers said with the food OzHarvest delivered, with the support of Brisbane City Council, the charity was able to create hampers and deliver them directly to members.
“OzHarvest’s deliveries were one of the biggest positives to come out of the whole situation as the food really brought everyone together,” Ms Rogers said.
For more information visit www.brisbane.qld.gov.au or call Council on 3403 8888.