What happens when a bunch of smart Inner Westies and the NSW Government put their heads together to create a project that saves food from landfill AND helps people facing food insecurity?

Last week the Addison Road Community Centre celebrated a huge milestone by launching the W.O.W. (War on Waste) Inner West campaign. This launch is a culmination of years of hard work, dedicated Addi Road staff and passionate local businesses who donate their surplus food to the Food Pantry, instead of sending it to landfill.

With $309,718 funding from the NSW Government's Waste Less, Recycle More food donation grants, the W.O.W. Inner West campaign’s goal is to raise awareness and motivate food businesses to donate surplus food to the Food Pantry. The project has involved setting up the Pantry, buying a van, fridges and freezers to keep food fresh and working with businesses and the community to save as much food as possible.

The Hilton Sydney Executive Chef Kruno Velican said donating to the Food Pantry can improve profits, customer satisfaction and provide accessible and affordable food to those in need.

Rosanna Barbero, CEO Addison Road Community Organisation, said, ‘The food justice movement is growing and reshaping how we organise ourselves. Food insecurity is a global issue – it can happen to anyone, and we see it a lot in our community. Addi Road is addressing it locally by rescuing food and diverting it from landfill onto the tables of countless local families every day.’

Addison Road Community Organisation has been a leader in providing quality food to people who need it in the Inner West since the Food Pantry opened in 2015.

Customers have doubled over the last year to an average of 750+ individuals a week. With two-thirds shopping for their families or households, Addi Road estimates its services are now feeding 1500-2000 people every week through the Food Pantry, associated outreach programs like the mobile food pantry, and the Hilton Hotel Sydney partnership.

The Addison Road Community Organisation Food Pantry currently rescues 1.8 tonnes of food from landfill every week.

By Maša Vahldieck