Victoria Park Chefs Unite For OzHarvest: Providing Cooked Meals For Local Communities In Need
OzHarvest Brisbane and Victoria Park have teamed up with some of the hospitality sector’s biggest hearts as part of Project #HospoHeroes, which sees restaurants and catering businesses firing up their empty kitchens to make delicious and nutritious meals. Each week these meals are delivered to OzHarvest’s network of more than 130 Brisbane charities in addition to the regular supply of rescued food, to help address the increased demand for food relief.
OzHarvest Queensland State Manager, Anthony Dunne said that the impact of COVID-19 means food relief is now at an all-time high. “OzHarvest responded quickly to rapidly increase our food rescue service, but with many charities forced to close their community meal programs, we recognised the need for cooked meals too. We turned to our wonderful friends in Brisbane’s hospitality sector and they jumped on board immediately.”
Victoria Park was one of the first businesses to respond to the call to help feed those in need. “The impact of COVID-19 has hit the hospitality industry hard and with empty kitchens and chefs with no work, what better way to put our resources to good use and rally to help OzHarvest,” said Siobhan Bickle, Director at Victoria Park. “As a family owned business, we are thrilled to join the ‘Hospitality Heroes’ program and know that our chefs’ skills are helping to get good food to families who are struggling to put meals on the table at this time.”
This support has been a lifeline for many charities that have needed to change their usual operations due to COVID-19 and can now provide ready-made meals to the community.
Brisbane charity Village Mosaix is a faith-based organisation supporting asylum seekers and refugees, socially isolated groups and those experiencing homelessness. Sam McGeown, Director of Village Mosaix, shared insight into the new faces of food insecurity. “Village Mosaix is seeing a lot of students and young people reaching out for help at the moment – international students who were supporting themselves but have lost their hospitality jobs, but also Australian students from regional areas who are away from home to study. When COVID first hit, we were supporting 15 households each week, now it’s over 130. People want to be able to support themselves and be independent. When they are forced to ask for help, it’s humbling. The amount of love and care the chefs and kitchens are putting into these prepared meals is incredible and goes a long way to make people feel they are not alone during these challenging times.”
Victoria Park’s chefs are lovingly making 5,000 delicious meals for those who are most in need.
And Victoria Park are calling on its community to help double our impact! Every $1 donated to OzHarvest means they can deliver 2 meals to someone in need. Our goal of making and funding over 10,000 meals is a lofty one, but will make a truly incredible impact for our Brisbane neighbours experiencing food insecurity.
Donations can be made at www.hereforhope.com.au