New Year, New Chance: Being the change you want to see.

(30 /01 /2017)

Guest blogger, Janine shares her recent experience…

My friends and I were recently soaking up a quintessential sun drenched lunch at a riverside restaurant.  Banter was flowing, the food was excellent and the icy beverages were hitting the spot.  The place was packed to the brim with people.  It would have been an easy place for anyone to blend in.

For some reason a single man stood out against the scene. He was quietly following behind a crowd that had just left their table.  He was pale and disheveled and bore a drawn appearance of someone who had not had steady meals of late.  He proceeded to pore through the leftovers on the plates on the table left behind.

An unimpressed woman on the table next to him shifted her seat to remove him from her view.  Her table partner picked up on her sentiment and motioned for a waiter to take notice, no doubt hoping they would shoo the man along.  A waiter’s attention was eventually caught and he darted straight to his supervisor to quickly exchange words.

Understandably we were surrounded with paying customers but a part of me sank.   The man was obviously hungry and I know from experience that whatever food was left would be thrown away in the kitchen.  The supervisor made a beeline for the disheveled man but surprisingly did not tell him to leave.  Instead he shook his hand and showed him to a freshly made table.  The waiter appeared from the kitchen with a cold carafe of water in one hand and hot plate of food in the other.  I could not hear the exchanges between the men but I could see the countenance of the pale man had lifted.  Just being treated with dignity had made a difference.  One tick in the box for faith in human decency restored.

More restaurants can help people like this man in more ways too.  It is estimated that food waste costs Australian households more than $8 billion each year.  The government released findings in a 2011 study that estimated that on average Australians generated approximately 361 kilograms of food waste annually per person.  Ways we can help to divert this excess is by utilising food recovery services such as Foodbank, OzHarvest and SecondBite.  In the past three years these organisations have saved enough food to provide more than 90 million meals to the community that would have otherwise be discarded.

For more information on these initiatives visit these sites for more details.

Foodbank: http://www.foodbank.org.au/

OzHarvest: http://www.ozharvest.org/

SecondBite: http://secondbite.org/


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