Australian charity Oz Harvest has received its largest food donation from a single company this month which it will deliver to disadvantaged families across Sydney.
Hamper King has given 160 cubic metres worth of food, worth $120,000, to the charity for the Christmas season.
General Manager of Oz Harvest, Michelle Cutler, said the 1700 hampers will benefit those who cannot afford nutritious food, through more than 200 charities such as Sydney Care and Wesley Mission.
“The charities that we deliver to, they’re a range of live-in and drop-in centres…some of them help women fleeing domestic violence [and] some are kids’ centres,” she said.
Oz Harvest has collected enough food to fill two Olympic-size swimming pools in the past 12 months to feed those in need.
The food, which would otherwise contribute to landfill, is picked up from hundreds of supermarkets, restaurants and catered events in Sydney, Newcastle, Canberra and soon, Adelaide.
One organisation which has benefited from the donated food is Edward Eagar Lodge, which provides short-term accommodation and support to 76 homeless men and women.
Acting manager of Edward Eagar Lodge, Rob Seaton, said the clients appreciated the deliveries.
“The quality of the food is of a kind that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to justify purchasing,” he said.
He said through the donations, their cooks could offer more substantial food.
“Christmas and New Year invites a whole lot of questioning and reflection and planning…it’s a sobering and emotional time for some and for others quite a frightening and chaotic time.”
Terry Seremetis, CEO of Layby Services, owner of the Hamper King brand, said his company usually sold its excess stock to discount stores which in turn, sold the food at slashed prices.
“We decided this year to donate it to a charity rather than go down that path…there’s a lot of financial stress out there,” he said.
The donation was less than half a per cent of their total stock.
Mr Seremetis said that he hopes other companies will follow their lead.
“This is quite common overseas. A lot of companies do good deeds around Christmas…but it seems not as common here so hopefully other suppliers donate to charities this Christmas as well.”
By Olivia Leeming