Australia’s leading food rescue operation, OzHarvest, has rescued the equivalent of 20 bath tubs full of perfectly good thickened cream that would otherwise have been dumped as unused, wasted product.
This surplus cream, along with a week’s excess bread supply and kindly donated products including; Herbie’s Spices ground nutmeg, Heilala Vanilla Pods and dried fruit from Frutex, was transformed into 17,040 serves of delicious bread and butter pudding on Friday May 24 and donated on the same day to people in need, across hundreds of charities and welfare agencies.
Five thousand of these puddings will also be served up for free at an upcoming OzHarvest event, as part of a global United Nations campaign against food waste, Feeding the 5000 on July 29 in Sydney’s Martin Place.
Around 30 OzHarvest volunteers in yellow t-shirts braved the 4am start and put the final lid on the 17,040th pudding tray at 1pm – some volunteers even working a full 9-hour shift under the direction of a professional bread maker, dessert maker and cream expert.
Pierre Issa, creator of Australia’s finest hand-churned butter Pepe Saya, Merna Taouk from DESSERTMAKERS and Michael Klausen from Brasserie Bread, took on the creamy challenge and came up with the brilliant idea saving thousands of litres of cream that would otherwise have been discarded.
“When OzHarvest called me, I was racking my brain to find a solution to this challenge. Then it just made so much sense. I make butter for a living, Merna makes puddings and Michael is the king of bread. How could we not help turn what would have been thrown out into something delicious for those in need?” said Issa.
Taouk of DESSERTMAKERS added, "The thought of making 15,000 bread and butter puddings by hand was very daunting, but to know where the end product will be going was a huge motivator."
Klausen owner of Brasserie Bread said, “Challenges like this take one second to say yes to and then subsequent hours of thinking ‘how are we going to pull this off?’”
“With the help of our supporters who are as equally passionate about food and completely against food waste, we were able to turn a problem into an instant solution. It’s always amazing to see people, get straight into gear and go above and beyond to help out others,” said Ronni Kahn, Founder & CEO of OzHarvest.
About Feeding the 5000
Five thousand members of the public are invited to a free hot lunch in Sydney’s Martin Place on Monday, 29 July between 12 noon and 2pm.
Feeding the 5000 is an event run by OzHarvest, one of Australia’s leading food-rescue organisations that was named the official Australian partner of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) global campaign - Think.Eat.Save.
Food will be made from rescued ingredients that would otherwise have been wasted, such as fresh but cosmetically imperfect fruit and vegetables. Feeding the 5000 will highlight how easy it is to reduce the unimaginable levels of food waste in Australia and internationally, and how governments, businesses and individuals can help.