Ronni Kahn knows how to talk the talk AND walk the walk; a rarity these days. She’s the driving force behind Oz Harvest, Australia’s premier food rescue organisation committed to stopping food waste and ensuring it reaches those most in need.
Ronni is an absolute powerhouse, forging change in the food waste field both globally and here in Australia (can you believe we waste $20 billion worth of food annually???). She’s lobbied parliament to change legislation and allow supermarkets, restaurants and catering businesses to safely donate surplus food to her organisation. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Here are three more inspirational reasons why Casper thinks Ronni Khan is the perfect embodiment of the spirit of generosity:
SMALL BEGINNINGS TO GLOBAL DOMINATION
The seed for Ronni’s food rescue business was planted when she witnessed copious amounts of food being thrown out at her own catering gigs (she ran a Sydney-based events company). She then decided to take the leftovers to a nearby Kings Cross hostel and her business idea was born. A mere twelve years later, Oz Harvest has 135 staff, 2000 volunteers Australia-wide and delivers 15 million meals each year. They rescue over 100 tonnes of food weekly from restaurants, hotels, farmers, corporates and even the likes of food shows like Masterchef.
If all that isn’t enough, they’ve also just launched Australia’s first food rescue supermarket, OzHarvest Market, where people can take what they need to feed themselves and their families for free (but donations are always welcomed).
EXTENDING A HELPING HAND
Giving someone in need a meal is certainly a generous act but Ronni wanted to take it further by embracing the adage ‘give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime’. To do this, she created OzHarvest’s NEST and Nourish programs.
NEST is a skills-based national education program, teaching participants how to prepare healthy food and produce less waste along the way. It’s mostly run at charitable organisations like refugees, TAFE outreach programs, and other support agencies. Nourish is a free program solely aimed at upskilling at-risk youth, training them in a Certificate II in Hospitality or Kitchen Operations. It’s hoped it will be used as a springboard to gaining employment in the hospitality industry.
PUSHING EVER FORWARD
Aside from working at the community level, Ronni has taken her food fight to the United Nations. She’s partnered with the United Nations Environment Programme to raise awareness about food waste globally, not to mention the fact the OzHarvest food rescue model is being implemented in many other countries across the globe.
Back on home soil, Ronni and OzHarvest continue to work with the Aussie government and other industry experts to achieve a lofty goal – to halve food waste nationally by 2030. Casper believes if anyone can do it, it’s definitely Ronni!
So those are just a few of the reasons why we love Ronni Kahn and OzHarvest. It’s truly amazing how one simple act of generosity can spark a fire that impacts the lives of so many.
What simple act of generosity can you perform in 2018? If you’re stuck, a good way to begin might be looking at the way you consume – both in terms of food and lifestyle. You never know where it might take you …
Feature by Renee Lunder @misnomer_12