Guide to Food Rescue & Relief

Welcome to our Illawarra Food Rescue and Relief Guide! This guide offers a comprehensive overview of the region’s food rescue and relief landscape, to enhance understanding and foster stakeholders collaboration. Whether you’re an existing food relief agency, a dedicated volunteer, a newcomer to the field, or simply someone interested in the Illawarra’s food rescue and relief sector, this guide is tailored for you.

It was developed as a vital component of the Regional Food Donation Coordinator pilot, generously funded by the NSW Environment Protection Authority. It draws on the insights and expertise of our Food Relief and Rescue Working Group, making it a valuable resource that reflects the expertise and experiences of those who work in the sector locally.

When you scroll down, you’ll find an overview of some key features of our guide. However, if interested in the comprehensive version, with a wealth of practical tools and strategies aimed at increasing food donations, ensuring food safety, and providing valuable insights for those looking to establish a food relief program, down load the PDF below.

Related resources:

Together, feeding people and fighting food waste! 

The current landscape

We are fortunate to have a food rescue and relief sector that collectively rescues a vast amount of food
to feed an increasing number of people in need. This work has an enormous impact and is often
accomplished on a shoestring budget, with the support of exceptional volunteers. The sector comprises
multiple food donors (including the three major supermarkets), three national food rescue
organisations, and over 32 food relief agencies.


We recognise that working together can achieve more significant outcomes and create positive change for those experiencing food insecurity in our community.

Join our Quarterly Food Rescue & Relief Working Group

These quarterly meetings are hosted by Food Fairness Illawarra to foster open communication within the Food Relief and Rescue Sector, to share practical knowledge and learnings and ensure a coordinated response. A shared action plan is developed to provide a roadmap for collective action in this space. To join the quarterly meetings, email

It’s wonderful to have an open forum to speak about the challenges, trends and wins we are all having.

Olivia Penner-Dilworth, OzHarvest

Join the Food Rescue and Relief Email Network

The food rescue and relief email network is a two-way distribution email created to foster increased communication and collaboration among all stakeholders in the food rescue and relief sector of the Illawarra. The distribution list aims to share information and resources that can contribute to the sector’s collective efforts, including surplus food donations, spare resources, upcoming opportunities, and more. Find more info in our guide. To join the food rescue and relief network, email

Food insecurity is such a large issue within our community it needs a coordinated approach to prevent any resources being wasted.

Megan Arthur, Wollongong Homeless Hub and Housing Service

Create or Update your Fair Food Directory Listing

Our fair food directory provides an all-inclusive overview of the Illawarra’s food system actors, including Low Cost and Free Meals providers. An overview of the food rescue and relief sector is crucial for various reasons.

  • It helps to identify gaps and areas where additional support is required, promotes coordination and collaboration among different organisations, reduces duplication of efforts and ensures efficient resource allocation.
  • It also helps people in need of food relief to access available services easily.
  • And it raises awareness about the issue of food insecurity, the efforts being made to address it, and the opportunities to support it.

Relevant categories for the food relief and food rescue stakeholders include:

To ensure that the Fair Food Directory remains current and accurate, every organisation involved in food rescue or food relief must are encouraged to create a listing and keep it up to date.

Use our step-by-step guide to create or update your directory listing to keep the Fair Food Directory current and accurate.

Email Templates And Food Donation Guides

To help organisations in participating in our food relief system, we have developed an email template to assist with food donor outreach and a thank you template. We have also included various donation guides for your information.

Email Templates:

Food Donation Guides: