Wollongong Private Hospital is simultaneously helping to feed the region’s homeless and cut back on waste thanks to its partnership with Wollongong Homeless Hub.
Under the agreement, unused portion-controlled food is now donated to the local charity - which distributes the products to those in the community who are experiencing homelessness and in crisis accommodation.
Every week, the donations include around 15 kilograms of food, such as unopened cereals, jellies, soft drinks, tea, coffee, jams, sugar, and UHT milk. On collection day, each Tuesday, leftover takeaway meals and sandwiches are also donated along with a carton of eggs and loaves of bread.
Wollongong Private’s Catering Coordinator Shyanne Miller-Lucas said the partnership with Wollongong Homeless Hub was something the whole hospital had embraced.
“Throughout Christmas we participated in the Homeless Hub’s 12 weeks of Christmas and at first I only engaged the catering department to donate - but by the end of the challenge the whole hospital was involved,” Ms Miller-Lucas said.
“We saw so many staff donate items such as toiletries, vouchers, treats, toys and much, much more, and as a token of appreciation we were awarded a 2020 Certificate of Appreciation from the Homeless Hub.
“It’s so wonderful to support this important charity and we hope to top that contribution this Christmas by starting the collections earlier,” she said.
Wollongong Homeless Hub Chief Executive Officer Mandy Booker said the hospital’s donations were a big help.
“The products help us to provide small welcome packs to people coming into their crisis accommodation. These are the little things that make a big difference when someone presents hungry, and when we need small items to add to our outreach food packs to those people sleeping rough in the Illawarra,” Ms Booker said.
Wollongong Homeless Hub is a specialist homelessness service that provides support, information, referral and advocacy to homeless people or those at risk of homelessness.