OZHARVEST staff celebrate the opening of the new Ozharvest facility in Druitt Court today.
OZHARVEST staff celebrate the opening of the new Ozharvest facility in Druitt Court today. Trevor Veale

New home will mean more food rescued

THE OzHarvest Coffs Harbour Chapter celebrated its new home on Friday.

Since 2014 Julie Ferguson and her committed team of volunteers have rescued more than 202 tonnes of food from over 50 food stores as well as from farmers and growers in the region.

The charities that benefit include school breakfast programs, homework clubs, migrant services and preschools where parents are struggling.

Julie is a well known figure in the community and was recently listed as one of Coffs Harbour's Most Influential.

She was also the driving force behind the Coffs Coast Orphans Christmas in the Botanic Garden for many years.

The new facility at 2/3 Druitt Court, Coffs Harbour will see operations move out of Julie's home where they had previously been located. She is over the moon with the new facility which has been made possible by overwhelming support from the local community.

"Thanks to the generosity of Anthony Jeffcott who has donated the warehouse for up to five years rent free. Complete with a cool room and wet area funded by the EPA. We now have a fantastic new home, with the essentials to help grow the local chapter and rescue more food.”

More than 70 people attended the celebration including OzHarvest Founder and CEO, Ronni Kahn who thanked those who've supported OzHarvest's journey.

"Julie has done a fantastic job establishing food rescue in Coffs Harbour. In just four years she has grown the local chapter from delivering food in her own car to rallying the community to raise funds for a van and new warehouse. Along with her team of passionate volunteers, she has delivered over 600,000 meals to help feed vulnerable people in the local community.”

OzHarvest operates nationally in Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Cairns, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Newcastle and regional communities like Coffs. Every $1 donated allows OzHarvest to deliver two meals to people in need so you can support the initiative by going to www.ozharvest.org