Ozharvest Founder Is Australia's Local Hero

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25th January 2010, 11:03pm - Views: 508
OzHarvest Founder is Australia's Local Hero

The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, today congratulated Australia's 2010 Local Hero New South Wales OzHarvest founder Ronni Kahn.

Ms Kahn, from Bronte, was recognised as part of the Australian of the Year Awards 2010 for her social and environmental leadership as the founder of OzHarvest a charity which collects excess food from commercial operators and redistributes it to local charities.

"Ronni Kahn is an outstanding citizen who inspires us with the passion she has for this country and the wellbeing of her fellow Australians," Senator Evans said.

"During her career in the hospitality industry, Ms Kahn witnessed the wastage of edible food and decided to investigate how it could be redistributed to the needy in the community.

"She was instrumental in changing legislation in four states to protect donors from any liability when supplying leftover food a hurdle which needed to be overcome to allow the OzHarvest concept to operate."

From humble beginnings in 2004, OzHarvest has gone on to deliver 4.6 million meals in the Sydney area, in the process stopping 1.4 million kilograms of food from going into landfill.

The organisation currently collects excess food from some 600 donors and delivers more than 110 000 meals a month to 163 charities in Sydney, Canberra and Wollongong with plans to go national next year.

"Australia's Local Hero award acknowledges Australians like Ronni who selflessly donate their time and effort to make a real difference to their communities," Senator Evans said.

"This award is one way to show our appreciation for their efforts. Local heroes such as Ronni strengthen their communities through their commitment and energy.

"That's what being an Australian citizen is about giving something back to the community we share.

"The Department of Immigration and Citizenship is proud to sponsor Australia's Local Hero award because it recognises the enormous contribution of citizens such as Ms Kahn who unselfishly work to make their local community a better place."

Broadcast quality audio grabs from Australia Local Hero Ms Ronni Kahn and other Local Hero award national finalists are available on the Department of Immigration and Citizenship's (DIAC) online newsroom [email protected]

Media Contacts:
Simon Dowding
(02) 6277 7860 or
0411 138 541 (Minister Evans)

Nicole Brown
0414 673 762 (National Australia Day Council)

Australian Local Hero

Ronni Kahn
Food rescuer

Ronni Kahn is the founder of OzHarvest, a service that collects and delivers surplus food to charities. She originally ran an events business and was horrified by the amount of leftover food that was thrown out. She began driving it to a hostel rather than let it go to waste. But she knew there was much more that could be done, and in 2004, OzHarvest was born. Five years later, OzHarvest has more than 600 food donors and delivers more than 110 000 meals each month to 163 charities in Sydney, Canberra and Wollongong. Ronni plans to go national next year. Due to her perseverance the law has been changed in NSW, ACT, Queensland, SA (and soon will be in WA) to ensure food donors are safe from liability. OzHarvest has had a profound effect on the environment by saving thousands of tonnes of food from landfill and on clients of charities who are able to eat good quality, nutritious food.

SOURCE: Minister for Immigration and Citizenship

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