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The First No-Charge, Rescued-Food Supermarket Opens in Australia

Nearly one-third of the food produced worldwide is lost or wasted. Yikes. Enter the rescued food supermarket. 

In industrialized countries food loss and waste totals somewhere near $680 billion, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

That’s a lot of food (and a lot of money) being wasted. One organization is seeking to change that. Well, more than one. But, recently the organization OzHarvest has made headlines for their new ‘rescued food’ grocery store. The OzHarvest Market in Kensington, Sydney (NSW) is the first of its kind.

This new rescued food grocer operates on a “take what you need, give what you can system.” That means if you’re in greater need, it’s okay to take without giving back much. But, someday you might be able to pay the generous gesture forward. And that’s the hope.

OzHarvest collects food from more than 2,000 commercial outlets. It delivers this excess to over nine different charities. With it’s new brick and mortar store, the organization is making an even bigger impact in the community.

The market itself is located on the ground floor of a retail space, donated by the development group TOGA. The upstairs part of the building is the former Addison Hotel. It is now temporary accommodations for vulnerable youth.

oz harvest

Founder and chief executive of OzMarket, Ronni Kahn, told the Sydney Morning Herald, “It’s simple; our purpose is to nourish our country in a sustainable way and raise awareness of food waste.” She went on to add, “If we can help the vulnerable with dignity then it’s a win-win.”

This grocer stocks foods that other stores might just trash. These ‘rescued’ foods are still entirely edible. Even though just one store can’t solve the worlds hunger problems, OzMarket is a shining example of how to help. Instead of getting rid of food that doesn’t look ‘pretty’ or says it’s passed its shelf-life, OzHarvest is turning it into something that can save a soul – or at the very least, feed a hungry child.

OzMarket would like to eventually expand what they offer and serve fresh, prepared foods or soup. Whether they add prepared foods or not, it’s certain that this store is all about doing good. Instead of adding to the food waste, OzMarket is picking up the slack and helping Australia to keep those in need well fed!

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Erica Loop is a mum, parenting writer and educator with an MS in child development. Along with writing for websites such as PBS Parents,, Scary Mommy,, Modern Mom, and others, she also is the creator of a kids' activities and art blog.

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