By 12:25pm yesterday, within just 25 minutes, 1,000 people had been fed delicious vegetable curries, chapatti, soups, and for dessert—tasty bread and butter pudding, all with rescued food and for free. By 2pm, over 5,000 people had enjoyed this incredible banquet.
Families, office workers, students and the homeless all mingled together taking part in this United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and OzHarvest event. Previously held in Paris, London, Amsterdam and Dublin, this is the first Feeding The 5000 event to be held in Australia. Chefs including Kylie Kwong, Martin Boetz and Massimo Mele, worked tirelessly alongside hundreds of volunteers to help serve the 5,000. Some were lucky enough to have their lunch dished-up by news presenter Peter Overton, celebrity gardener Costa Georgiadis and 'Food Safari' host, Maeve O'Meara.
Inspiring speeches were given by the Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore; OzHarvest founder, Ronni Kahn; and United Nations Representative, Julia Dean, amongst others.
The facts are overwhelming when it comes to food wastage in Australia:
• $7.8 billion worth of food is thrown away by Australians each year.
• Australians dispose of 1 out of every 5 bags of groceries.
• Australia produces enough food for 60 million people each year and yet 2 million people rely on food relief within Australia.
• Roughly 1/3 of the food produced in the world each year (for human consumption) gets lost or wasted — amounting to approximately 1.3 billion tonnes of food wastage.
As Clover Moore eloquently summed up:
"Every year we Australians throw away almost $8 billion worth of food, that is a really shocking situation when you think of what's happening around the world."
For more information on OzHarvest and their wonderful food-rescue work click here!