The entire team at the Paradigm Group ‘downed tools’ at 12.30 on Thursday, 10 August to spend the afternoon volunteering in the kitchens at FareShare – a leading food rescue charity. Established in 2001 FareShare has been rescuing surplus food from businesses such as supermarkets, farms and manufacturers and, with the help of volunteers, cooks 25,000 nutritious meals every week. These meals are distributed to over 500 charities across Melbourne and country Victoria, including soup vans, shelters for the homeless and refuges.
A dedicated team of more than 750 regular FareShare volunteers plus one-off group shifts of volunteers from schools and corporate and community groups is coordinated by a small admin team at the FareShare headquarters in Abbotsford. An essential financial resource in the form of donations keeps the program powering along towards the yearly target of one million meals.
Paradigm’s shift started with a short induction which gave us some insights and background about FareShare, followed by the necessary OHS training before we scrubbed up, donned gloves and set to work. We prepared vegetarian rolls, lined quiche tins with pastry, bagged and labelled prepared food ready for distribution – working in batches numbering in the hundreds.
It was interesting to note our colleagues’ different working styles in the kitchen! Fast and furious alternated with neat and precise. We maintained a very brisk pace throughout our tasks, spurred on by Zaff, Justin and Patrick.
After a short tea break mid-way when we sampled the fruits of our labour (delicious!) we put the finishing touches on our trays of pastries then commenced the clean up. We finished feeling a tad weary but with spirits uplifted knowing that we had thoroughly enjoyed our time working together as a team in the kitchen; satisfied and grateful for the opportunity to pitch in and help such a worthwhile community cause.
For further information about FareShare, visit: http://www.fareshare.net.au/or if you would like to volunteer, contact Rosemary Kelly, Volunteer Programs Manager: http://www.fareshare.net.au/volunteering/