Personnel from No. 278 Squadron at RAAF Base Amberley recently traded their uniforms for aprons to volunteer at FareShare, a not for profit organisation that turns surplus food into free nutritious meals for people in need.
FareShare rescues quality surplus food items from supermarkets, wholesalers, farmers and other businesses to take to their commercial size kitchen where volunteers prepare, cook and transform the food into nutritious meals. Once prepared, the meals are distributed to various local agencies who help vulnerable people within the community.
With the assistance of volunteers, the organisation currently prepares over 250,000 meals per month.
No. 278 Squadron (278SQN) volunteers spent the afternoon in a full production kitchen at FareShare undertaking duties such as cooking, preparing ingredients and packaging the meals. In just three hours they produced over 1900 meals.
Commanding Officer 278SQN, Squadron Leader (SQNLDR) Philip Irvine said that the activity was extremely enjoyable from both a professional and personal level as personnel were able to contribute to the betterment of the community around them.
“Having the opportunity to do something to help someone that may be experiencing a tough time was a rewarding experience,” said SQNLDR Irvine.
“Seeing our people assist in producing such a large number of meals in just a few hours was immensely satisfying for everyone concerned.
“It was a privilege to be the first ADF unit to have the opportunity to work with FareShare and we are keen to participate again in the future.”
The activity also drew attention to the amount of food waste currently experienced within Australia.
278SQN member, SGT Chris Evans said that visiting FareShare demonstrated just how much food is wasted in our society.
“FareShare had over 3 tonne of green beans donated that were rejected by supermarkets as they did not met their standards. We used them to produce a healthy meal and prevent someone in our community from going hungry.
“While cooking chipotle chicken with vegetables may not be an everyday task for instructors and staff at the Squadron everyone dug in to get the job done, some even demonstrated a talent for the culinary arts.”