The vital OzHarvest service is set to continue in Port Macquarie, from a new home base and with more volunteers.
OzHarvest rescues 8500kgs of produce each month. That food is used to provide meals to people in need.
Coordinator for the Mid-North Coast Linda Brettell, says the organisation can now plan for the future after securing a new base.
"We have secured a permanent home which will enable us to manage our operations much better," she said.
"Our focus is on food rescue but the bigger picture is the war on food waste.
"OzHarvest looks after the areas of Port Macquarie, Wauchope and surrounding areas. We are also looking to expand into the Camden Haven in the future."
The group boasts 17 volunteers who cover time slots from 7am until 7pm.
Mrs Brettell says volunteers can fill as much or as little time as they can provide.
"OzHarvest has a full training and induction process that volunteers complete prior to starting volunteering.
"We are very flexible with windows available for volunteering; one hour, two hours or four hours. It just depends on how much time the person can offer.
“Some of the work is physical in nature.
The volunteers will work in teams of two with a driver and passenger and volunteer duties will be matched to the people’s abilities.Linda Brettell
“The volunteers will work in teams of two with a driver and passenger and volunteer duties will be matched to the people’s abilities.
"It is just great to have more people come onboard," she said.
Mrs Brettell described OzHarvest as a unique charity.
We collect as much fresh high quality produce as we can and provide that to people within the community while helping reduce our waste, she said.
The coordinator described MBC as a partner of OzHarvest.
"Without them we could not operate," she added.
The rescued food is distributed to the almost 30 Port Macquarie and Wauchope community groups and emergency relief services ranging from Port Macquarie and Wauchope neighbourhood centres to The Salvation Army, op shops, Legacy, Lifeline, schools, soup kitchens and refuges.
One of the beneficiaries is the Neighbourhood Centre's Food Connect program which is on each Tuesday and Thursday.
The Centre's Julie Trowbridge said that without OzHarvest, Food Connect and similar programs would find it difficult to exist.
"We would have no way of getting food delivered to the centre to continue our program," she added.
The OzHarvest service is also vital to St Thomas’ Soup Kitchen, which provides a nutritious three course meal to an average of 80 people every Wednesday, while a simple meal has been added on Thursdays.
Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer with OzHarvest should contact Linda Brettell on 0438 435 034 or search for OzHarvest Port Macquarie on Facebook.
Also making news:
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox from the Port Macquarie News. To make sure you're up to date with all the news, SIGN UP HERE.