A few weeks back I
boasted about modestly mentioned my appointment as a Social Media Ambassador for my much-loved Cellar Door Wine Festival. I’ve been a supporter of the festival since it began and am thrilled with how it has grown and developed, winning a series of awards for festivals of it’s type. It will be back next year, even bigger this time round and the State Government is again partnering with the Adelaide Cellar Door Wine Festival to include a ‘New Producers’ Area’. This will give up to 10 small food producers the chance to promote their brand and products, while several of last years New Producers will have their own stands in 2014. With the growing focus on food as part of this event, the festival continues it’s relationship with OzHarvest Adelaide, having now donated over 80,000 meals.
To get a better idea of how OzHarvest works, earlier this week myself and the other ambassadors spent an evening in the OzHarvest kitchen with Adelaide Convention Centre Executive Chef Tze Khaw, where we helped him prepare a meal that would go out the next day to needy recipients. We were able to experience the team-building exercise called Cooking For a Cause. OzHarvest has created this as a fun event which serves to give social groups and corporate teams the experience of using their time and talents for social impact.
Cooking together is a fantastic team building activity and Cooking For a Cause builds an immediate and tangible feel‐good outcome for groups, knowing that they have made a difference while developing communication skills. On arrival at the OzHarvest Kitchen everyone slips on an apron and is introduced to an OzHarvest representative and a special guest chef or cook. Participants learn about food sustainability, food insecurity and about the positive impact that OzHarvest has on our community and the environment. This is all done in an atmosphere of fun, the best way to learn some fabulous cooking skills while preparing a large volume of much needed delicious and nutritious meals.
I’ve been following OzHarvest Adelaide’s journey since it first began (posts here and here) back in January 2011 and they have now rescued 1.2 million meals across the state. That is the equivalent of 36o tonnes of perfectly good food which would have otherwise found it’s way into landfill, where it would have produced more than 600 tonnes of carbon emissions. Nationally OzHarvest rescues more than 42 tonnes of food every week across Sydney, Newcastle, Adelaide, Brisbane and Melbourne. Instead, that food now finds it’s way to needy families and charity service providers, thus freeing up their very limited resources to be used in other important ways. For the businesses who supply the food, OzHarvest offers an avenue to avoid the soul-destroying task of throwing away good meals that can’t be sold, while at the same time cutting down on their waste disposal costs – a happy and very rare case of everybody winning!
If you are interested in Cooking For a Cause contact OzHarvest Adelaide on (08) 8162 9553, drop them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website. If team building doesn’t ring your bells or if you are looking for the perfect way to share the Christmas love, check out the gorgeous OzHarvest Cookbook full of recipes contributed by the best cooks in Australia.