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HerCanberra Team

How does a free lunch sound? Well this Monday 27 July all of Canberra is invited for lunch in City Walk and it’s FREE! There’s one important difference, though – this free meal is being made from rescued food. I went to catch up with Dave Burnet, Manager of OzHarvest Canberra, to find out more about their service and the Think.Eat.Save event.

I met Dave way back when I used to donate left over cupcakes from my shop to food rescue. It was a passion of mine and it became deeper when I knew my cupcakes often went to women’s refuges and were being given to young children on their birthdays. I will never forget the day when the volunteers told me a child looked into the cake box, saw my cupcakes and said ‘can I really have one?’ Having only ever experienced tinned, poor quality food, this child was overwhelmed that they were being offered a beautiful cupcake.

To keep it simple, OzHarvest is the missing link between good food and those who need it. After a spell away from Canberra, OzHarvest and their bright yellow van returned here late last year, in response to several calls for help from the community. And the cries for help were warranted – since its return in November, over 100,000 kilograms (that’s 100 tonne!) of food has been rescued: perfectly good, fresh food that would otherwise have been dumped in hoppers at the back of supermarkets.

OzHarvest Canberra rescues food from all over town from places like Aldi, Costco, Supabarn, restaurants, cafés and caterers. It’s then delivered to charities such as St Vincent de Paul, Red Cross, women’s refugees and welfare groups, where an amazing bunch of volunteers turn it into fresh food packs or cooked meals for those who desperately need it.

Even though we are seeing an increase in food rescue in Canberra, Dave said we still have a long way to go. Education is the key, and with help from partners like Radford and St Edmunds, the service is gaining more community awareness. Both schools have incorporated food rescue into their hospitality programs. OzHarvest Canberra deliver rescued food to both campuses on Mondays and then return at the end of the week to pick up the food that has been converted into beautiful meals and desserts.

With no Government funding, OzHarvest relies heavily on donations and volunteer help from the community – anything from driving the van, helping at events or in the commercial kitchen to prepare meals. And if you think you are too old to help, think again. Dave says they have 75 year olds who would never give up their seat in the van!

So how can you find out more about OzHarvest Canberra? For the first time in Canberra, Think.Eat.Save. is happening this Monday lunchtime; in association with the United Nations Environment Program, the lunch is being held nationally at the same time.

Right near the Merry-Go-Round in City Walk, you will find the bright yellow OzHarvest food carts and marquees with 100’s of litres of free soup that is being cooked up by volunteers, using only rescued ingredients.

Join the ACT Government and other special guests and chat to the team about the amazing work OzHarvest Canberra is providing to the underprivileged in our city. Learn how perfectly good food can be made into nourishing meals and engage with the volunteers about how you might be able to help.

But you don’t need to make it along in order to Think.Eat.Save. It’s as simple as this:

Think about the food you put in the bin. Is it ok? Is it still good enough quality to turn into a meal?

Eat prepare and eat good food, don’t waste it.

Save by watching what we put in the bin we are saving money and helping the environment at the same time.

the essentials

What:  Think.Eat.Save
When: 11.30am to 2.30pm, Monday 27 July
Where: Garema Place, City Walk, Canberra City
Web: Register now at


Her Canberra

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