OzHarvest: Feeding the 5000

A lot of planning goes into an event that involves the feeding of 5000 hungry city people within a period of 2 hours. The generous folk at OzHarvest shared their love of ‘rescued’ fruit and veg on a bright Monday afternoon with quite a successful lunchtime event. I found out about their plans much earlier and free tickets were obtained through EventBrite. When a friend and I arrived, we were gobsmacked by just how many people were crammed into Pitt St in Martin Place.

We proceeded to queue up for a free meal but little did we know just how much OzHarvest had in store behind the first few tents. Behind the first area was a whole oasis of different foods to sample: Pea and Ham Soup with Pepe Saya Butter and Sourdough, Homemade Lemonade and Tomato Gazpacho, just to name a few.

I had the Surplus Vege Curry and Rescued Rice which was really flavoursome with chunky bits of zucchini, eggplant and pumpkin just cooked so they retained their crunch. It was served with a chapatti, fresh yoghurt and onion relish and the whole dish worked really well together.

Volunteers were walking around asking people whether they’d like some fruit so that was a nice way to showcase even more produce that would have otherwise ended up in landfill.

EAT ME, it shouted.

Next was dessert: Apple Crumble with Chantilly Cream. OMG! Perfectly cooked apples in a crunchy, buttery crumble and the Heilala vanilla-infused cream worked wonders to compliment the richness of the dish.

Being the food-obsessed plum I am, I noticed some familiar faces giving a helping hand in different stalls. I spotted the legendary Maeve O’Maera and got a wave from her! I said hi to Kylie Gillies from the Morning Show, uber-gifted Martin Boetz was serving up soup as well as celebrity chef newcomer Massimo Mele at the gazpacho stand.

We heard a little bit of OzHarvest Founder and CEO Ronni Kahn’s passionate speech on how food does not deserve to be wasted and we should be making the most of these perfectly fine but non-confoming produce.

Makeshift herb garden

We also got to sample a bit of Bondi rooftop honey which tasted, how can I put it, less wild? As in, less nature-like and more sweet toffee-like…interesting how that is though.

By the end of the event, we were stuffed and our bellies satisfied with homely food served by genuine people. And strongly reminded that the homeless aren’t so lucky and deserve organisations like OzHarvest to get through each day. Well done to all the hardworking volunteers; truly inspirational.

OzHarvest, locations around Australia, find them on Facebook and Twitter

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