Uniting Care West Food Rescue

14/11/2014
Food to the Rescue in Perth CBD

A corporate and café driven initiative connecting rescued sandwiches, rolls and wraps from CBD cafes to feed people in need will create an Australian first when Uniting Care West’s Food Rescue service rolls out its unique cargo cart project in the City of Perth at 1pm on Friday 14 November.

Not only will the innovative project create a national first when the corporate CBD volunteers take to the streets but the initiative will also be marked by its contribution to diverting organic waste from landfill.

Russell Blaikie, Food Rescue’s Food Ambassador and chef and partner at Must Wine Bar said that as a chef it upset him to see fresh food discarded when it could be put to good use for people who were hungry, a sentiment echoed by the many participating cafes owners who have already joined the push to reduce waste and ensure that those who are hungry have something to eat.

Participating café owner Krzys Gawel from Just Eat in the CBD’s Woodside Plaza echoed the remarks endorsing the food rescue cart initiative as a brilliant model that offers an appealing ease of logistics for food collection and redistribution.

“The cargo carts are a great concept and will allow café owners around the Perth CBD to strategically partner with a charitable organisation, together with volunteers from the corporate sector to make a real difference in the community,” he said.

Two carts will operate each day in the CBD with corporate volunteers from Alinta Energy, Argonaut, Ausenco, Rio Tinto, Bankwest, QBE, Clayton Utz, PwC, Westpac, Business News, Bankwest and Brookfield Corporate Offices taking part in the daily runs, collecting food that will then be distributed by Food Rescue’s refrigerated vans to homeless support centres including Manna Inc, The Salvos and Uniting Care West’s Tranby Inner City Centre and Family Foundations Services.

Uniting Care West CEO Sue Ash said the joint involvement of corporate and café operators was the key to the initiative’s effectiveness and showed the spirit of Perth business operators in supporting solutions that could help ease community concerns.

She said that the simple value proposition for the cargo carts initiative was easily understood: “Corporate organisations and cafes make available excess food through volunteer CBD workers who enjoy some fresh air while collecting food that Food Rescue distributes through its network of NFPs to people who are hungry”.

Marcus Geisler Chairman of the Waste Authority said the Authority was working on many levels to divert organic waste from landfill and the Food Rescue Cargo Carts project ensured that good food would go to people who needed it and not be wasted in landfill where it could only contribute to methane emissions.

With one volunteer pushing the cart and two collecting the food from the cafes Perth’s distinctive red-clad Food Rescue heroes will roll out the cargo carts in a food rescue initiative that’s set to grow and to extend Perth’s reputation for putting innovative ideas to work.