More than $2 million has been raised by Australia’s top chefs and business leaders to provide meals for the needy, with SMEs urged to contribute to the cause in non-monetary ways.
Some 1,400 people gathered in Sydney on Monday, 19 March, for OzHarvest’s annual CEO CookOff, which hit its fundraising goal of $2 million to be used to make 4 million meals for homeless and needy Australians.
Fifty prominent chefs from around Australia, including TV’s Matt Moran and Order of Australia Medallist Lyndey Milan, were joined by business leaders, media and volunteers in makeshift kitchens to cook up a scrumptious three-course meal for guests.
While guests enjoyed the culinary treats created by renowned chefs, those donating their time in the kitchens had a first-hand glimpse into the hard work and dedication of business owners and employees who work tirelessly behind the scenes in the hospitality industry.
OzHarvest is a “food rescue organisation”, which collects excess food from businesses that otherwise would have gone to landfill and distributes meals to various charities around the country.
According to its website, OzHarvest collects more than 100 tonnes of surplus food each week from a range of businesses, including supermarkets, hotels, restaurants, catering companies and airports, as well as directly from farmers.
“I’m simply blown away by the unbelievable efforts of the CEOs and teams, who threw themselves into this event with fundraising gusto! Thanks to the generosity of their supporters, OzHarvest can now deliver another 4 million meals to help people in need,” the charity’s founder and CEO Ronni Kahn said.
Businesses of all size are being urged to do their bit in reducing food wastage, and donate all excess but still edible foods to their local OzHarvest chapter. Details can be found on the OzHarvest website.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.