NSW Opposition Leader, Barry O’Farrell, and Liberal Candidate
for Parramatta, Geoff Lee on Wednesday announced a NSW Liberals
and Nationals Government would provide $200,000 to Parramatta
Mission for its Food Recovery Program, which aims to produce one
million meals per year for people who are disadvantaged across
requires approximately $200,000 to renovate the premises at
Albert Street, North Parramatta (temporary site of the old Hope
Hostel), which includes the set-up of a commercial kitchen, cool
rooms, loading dock and staff and volunteer amenities.
The program collects left-over fresh and prepared food from
retailers at The GPT-owned Rouse Hill Town Centre, together with
seven Woolworths Supermarkets. This good quality food is
currently turned into meals and emergency food parcels for
hundreds of Parramatta Mission clients. Approximately 100,000
meals are served by Parramatta Mission each year.
This injection of funds, however, would mean that Parramatta
Mission’s staff and volunteers would be able to turn this food
into individual meals which are cooked, frozen and made
available for collection by other welfare agencies at no cost.
With up to 52 Woolworths Supermarkets joining the program, as
well as GPT’s Carlingford Court Shopping Centre, Parramatta
Mission would be able to produce one million meals per year for
people who are disadvantaged in Western Sydney.
“This is a fantastic initiative by Parramatta Mission and is
worthy of government support,” Mr O’Farrell said.
“Melbourne has a similar program called ‘FareShare’ which has
been hugely successful, but there’s currently no such program in
Sydney,” he said.
“Parramatta Mission estimates up
to a fifth of households in Western Sydney are concerned about
putting food on the table.
“The program will be
run largely by volunteers, hand in hand with the support of
business – and I thank and congratulate them for their support
of this initiative,” Mr O’Farrell said.
Mission General Manager, Chris Bertinshaw, said households are
being impacted by rising rents, mortgage interest rates, the
cost of utilities and petrol.
“With wages not
growing at the same rate family budgets are being squeezed,”
said Mr Bertinshaw.
“We are seeing a growing
number of people come to Parramatta Mission for support, who
have never asked for help before.
“And with an
estimated 150,000 children going to school without breakfast or
to bed without dinner in Western Sydney each year, our food
recovery program could offer some relief to families who are
struggling,” said Mr Bertinshaw.
Liberal Candidate for Parramatta, Geoff Lee, NSW Opposition
Leader, Barry O’Farrell, and Parramatta Mission General Manager,
Chris Bertinshaw, face the cameras for the announcement on