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FOOD & DRINK

OzHarvest Has Opened Australia's First Food Scrap Supermarket

All produce is rescued from restaurants and businesses, and shoppers can pay what they like.
By Lauren Vadnjal
April 28, 2017
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By Lauren Vadnjal
April 28, 2017
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If you've ever worked in a restaurant where you've had to throw out the still-good offcuts the kitchen doesn't need at at the end of a shift, worked at a supermarket where expired food has at to be tossed in the bin or simply opened your crisper to find a browned and shrivelled iceberg lettuce that you bought and promptly forgot about last week, you'll know that food wastage is rife basically everywhere. And even if you haven't been privy to all that, know that roughly four million tonnes of food is wasted in Australia each year. That's why food rescue charity OzHarvest exists — each day, they go around to cafes, restaurants, supermarkets, airports and hotels to collect the food they don't want and deliver it to people who need it.

OzHarvest has been hugely successful at doing this. Since its creation in 2004, the charity has been instrumental in changing how food waste is handled in Australia. Led by founder Ronni Kahn, the organisation has successfully lobbied state governments to alter legislation to allow potential food donors (that is, the supermarkets, restaurants, etc.) to legally donate surplus food to charitable organisations. And now OzHarvest has taken their operation to the next level, by opening a 'rescued food' supermarket in Sydney.

The OzHarvest Market is a physical store for all the rescued food the organisation collects. Rather than being delivered directly to charitable groups, the market makes some of the produce available to members of the public, and particularly those in need. That's because nothing at the market has a set price — it operates on a "take what you need, give if you can" model.

"The OzHarvest Market is our latest innovation to tackle food waste and eliminate hunger," said founder Ronni Kahn. "It supports OzHarvest's purpose to nourish our country, by making sure good food does not go to waste and is available to everyone."

The market is located on the ground floor of the Addison Hotel, which is currently being used as a refuge for homeless youth while the building owners TOGA await approval for a development. OzHarvest will inhabit the space for as long as it is available.

The OzHarvest Market is open Monday to Friday from 10am till 2pm at 147 Anzac Parade, Kensington, Sydney. For more information, visit ozharvest.org/market.

Published on April 28, 2017 by Lauren Vadnjal

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