OzHarvest in desperate need of volunteers at Narooma, Bermagui

The Sapphire Coast branch of the food rescue charity OzHarvest is in desperate need of volunteers to continue its work of delivering food to the region’s needy.

OzHarvest is Australia’s first national food rescue charity that uses volunteers to collect good food from supermarkets, growers, restaurants – any business that has excess good food that is in danger of going to landfill – delivering that food to charities in the area for distribution to their clients in need.

OzHarvest Sapphire Coast manager Christine Welsh said the charity had a team of about 20 people who pick up and deliver food in Eden, Merimbula, Tura Beach and Bega.  The service recently extended its reach to Narooma and Bermagui, and have two excellent volunteers working in this area.

“However, both of these volunteers are going away at various times during August, September and October, and unless we can get new volunteers we will have to suspend our collections until they return,” Ms Welsh said. “The difference that these food collections have made cannot be underestimated.”

For example, both Little Yuin and Bermagui preschools are running mini-cooking classes for both children and their carers, to encourage skills development and better nutrition. The OzHarvest food also gives parents the opportunity to add more variety to their children's lunch boxes. 

“One of the dearest items in any family’s food budget is fresh fruit and vegetables and unfortunately, these items are often the first things to be left out of the diet,” she said. “Having OzHarvest rescued food is helping to change lives.”

OzHarvest volunteers collect from Bermagui and Narooma Woolworths supermarkets and the 777 store at Bermagui on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.

The food is waiting at the stores, in boxes, and volunteers just need to place it in their vehicle and drive it to the drop-off points at Katungul Aboriginal medical centre in Narooma; and the preschools at Wallaga Lake and Bermagui, where people there will help unload. 

Full training and support would be given, including a beautiful free OzHarvest T-shirt.  New volunteers are always accompanied on their first run, or until they feel confident.

Anyone interested is encouraged to contact Christine Welsh at  0438 407 364 or christine.welsh@ozharvest.org