What a humbling experience to have at 4AM on a Friday morning. I had heard about OzHarvest’s brilliant work from my good friend Michael Fischer and was eager to see the community project for myself. Having put my hand up to help with the early morning delivery, I pulled myself from bed well before the break of day.
OzHarvest rescues excess food from restaurants, bakeries, butchers, grocers and cafés, and distributes it to the vulnerable people of Sydney, Newcastle and Canberra. Their bright yellow vans deliver 180,000 meals each month and last Friday, I was one of the lucky volunteers to experience firsthand the impact and smiles that the organisation creates.
Bobby, the driver of our van, had been getting up at 4AM to meet chefs, bakers and restaurateurs for years. It felt as though we had a master key to the city as we entered the back door of Sydney’s kitchens to pick up bread, vegies and meat from places such as Thomas Dux, Grandma Moses and Daily Fresh.
With a full van, we took the food to drop-in centres, families and individuals around the city. Many of the homeless await a hot meal to warm them up after the icy autumn nights spent sleeping outside.
It was a moving experience to see the love and dedication behind OzHarvest and its volunteers like Bobby. But the organisation is always in need of more hands and more vans. Please join in the movement and donate your time, excess food or money to OzHarvest. I will certainly volunteer again and I would recommend it to anyone and everyone.\
Yolanda de Groot