Guide to donating food

21,600 Illawarra residents are currently experiencing food insecurity. One direct way you can help is by donating food to a relief organisation. Donated food supports small and large community organisations who provide various forms of emergency food relief – from breakfast programs for kids who go to school hungry, to community kitchens that provide daily meals for homeless or disadvantaged community members. Whether you’re a business or an individual – there are numerous opportunities to donate food throughout the Illawarra.

Why donate?

  • You’re helping those in need
    Donating food is the most direct way you can support vulnerable members of our community
  • It can save you money
    As a business or an individual, donating food can save you money on your waste disposal costs
  • It’s better for the environment
    Reduce your food waste – donating surplus food combats climate change by reducing the greenhouse emissions associated with food waste rotting in landfill
  • It can benefit your business
    As a business or organisation, donating your surplus food brings you into the community and has a positive impact on staff morale.

What type of food can I donate?

  • Blemished or imperfect produce
  • Products close to their use by date
  • Products close or past their best before date
  • Excess and slow-moving stock or deleted lines
  • Products that have incorrect, damaged or no labelling and/or damaged packaging
  • Sample size and bulk products
  • Surplus food from breakfast, lunch or dinner services e.g. salads, sandwiches, muffins and cakes
  • Leftover unused portions of food that have not been served to customers or clients such as sandwiches or salads from a café
  • Food purchased by a food related business that becomes surplus to their requirements such as fresh or long-life produce
  • Excess food at food markets or supermarkets
  • Food grown at farms that does not meet the size or cosmetic criteria set by supermarkets.

Get donating

We are fortunate to have OzHarvest operating in the Illawarra. OzHarvest is Australia’s leading food rescue organisation, which collects quality excess food from commercial outlets and delivering it directly to the local community organisations that support community members people in need.

There are numerous community organisations in the Illawarra that also accept food donations direct, ranging from small donations by individuals to larger donations from businesses. The donate food directory will provide you with an overview of these organisations and their specific donation processes.

‘This is a Waste Less, Recycle More initiative, funded from the waste levy.’