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Addressing homelessness in Australia’s major cities

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Free meals for the needy in Melbourne

A new national food rescue effort will see surplus food from 120 supermarkets in metropolitan Melbourne diverted to food charities.

The effort is part of a national plan by Woolworths to turn quality surplus food into two million meals for the needy in 2010.

“Woolworths will now work with FareShare to collect an estimated 3,000 kg of fresh food every day from its supermarkets. This could then be used to produce 6,000 meals a day for people doing it tough,” said FareShare CEO Marcus Godinho.

FareShare is a not-for-profit organisation that rescues surplus quality food to prepare healthy meals for Victoria’s hungry and homeless.

As part of Woolworths’ pilot, FareShare started collecting fresh fruit, vegetables and meat from the company’s Melbourne supermarkets late in 2008 and delivering the produce to local charities to help people struggling to afford food. FareShare also used the food in its own kitchen.

“We are now collecting 700 kg of fresh produce from up to 26 Woolworths supermarkets every day. This daily supply of free quality produce allowed us to double the number of meals we produce each week – now over 10,000.”

‘Action Plans’ to combat homelessness in NSW

Meanwhile, Regional Homelessness Action Plans (RHAPs) are currently being developed by Housing NSW and other NSW government agencies with responsibility for homelessness, as part of the implementation of the NSW Homelessness Action Plan.

As part of the process of developing the RHAPs, consultation workshops are being held in each region during February 2010. Due to the limited number of people able to attend the workshops, Housing NSW is also calling for written submissions to assist with the development of the Plans.

Feedback is sought on priority issues and on projects, initiatives and partnerships that are currently working well. Submissions are due by 19 February 2010.

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