OzHarvest opens Australia’s first free supermarket for people in need

OzHarvest CEO and founder Ronni Khan

OzHarvest CEO and founder Ronni Khan

This morning OzHarvest launched Australia's first "rescued" food supermarket in Sydney. The OzHarvest Market, which is on the ground floor of the Addison Hotel on Anzac Parade in Kensington, operates just a like a normal supermarket; however, in place of a cash register at the check-out, there's a donation box. "Fill bellies, not bins" reads a sign above a shelf stacked high with pineapples, lemons and limes, mushrooms, mixed greens, cauliflower and broccoli. "Make every morsel matter" says another.

The OzHarvest Market.

"This is about dignity," says OzHarvest CEO and founder Ronni Kahn. "This is about anyone walking through this door, taking what they need, and only giving back if they can."

Along with fresh bread and pastries from The Bread & Butter Project, the market offers fresh produce, healthy snacks, dried and packaged goods such as rice and pasta, ready-made meals and toiletries. All of the supermarket stock has been donated by other major supermarkets, cafés, airlines and businesses across Sydney. Most of the food is not out of date or damaged, but is rather surplus stock that would otherwise go straight to landfill.

Alicia Kirwan, state manager of OzHarvest New South Wales, said it was important that people realise this supermarket is as much for vulnerable people as it is for community members who are passionate about supporting those in need. "We really want to encourage everyone to come and do a shop here. Fill a basket, make a donation, make it part of your week."

The OzHarvest Market.

Toga, the property and development group who has donated the site, invited OzHarvest to take over the ground-floor space while it awaits DA approvals. Upstairs, Toga is providing pop-up accommodation for at-risk youth in an initiative called The Addison Project.

Speaking at the opening, the mayor of Randwick, Noel D'Souza, said that this project was "not only nourishing people's bodies, but their spirits as well".

The OzHarvest Market also offers recipes and preparation tips to avoid food wastage, and hot soup each day to people who stop by and need a meal.

"It's time to disrupt," said Kahn. "This is about giving people an opportunity to show their goodness, to share their love, and to share their generosity."

The OzHarvest Market, 147 Anzac Pde, Kensington, NSW; open Mon-Fri 10am-2pm, for as long as the site is available. OzHarvest is looking for volunteers to assist at The Market, stacking shelves, receiving produce and helping shoppers. For more information visit ozharvest.org/market


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