By ALLISON HORE
A Marrickville charity has launched a new “zero waste, zero emissions” kitchen which will cook up ready meals for underprivileged locals. The kitchen is one of the first of its kind in Australia.
On Monday Addison Road Community Centre, a grassroots organisation in operation since 1976, launched the new kitchen which will run entirely on solar energy. The ingredients for the meals will come from food donated by SecondBite and Coles, closing the gap on food waste in the Inner West.
The new solar-powered commercial kitchen was made possible by a $165,000 grant from Coles as part of their Coles Nurture Fund. Addison Road CEO Rosanna Barbero said the grant helped the organisation to fit out their kitchen and install solar panels
“The winners are the people and the planet. We will show Australia and beyond that it can be done, creating jobs and training opportunities, one community at a time,” she said.
Federal opposition leader and member for Grayndler, Anthony Albanese, joined the team from Addison Road for the launch of their new kitchen. He said the zero-waste and zero-emissions fit out was a “brilliant idea.”
“Addison Road, under the leadership of CEO Rosanna Barbero, continues to lead the way in ensuring that genuine community needs are met whilst considering the effect on the planet and the future,” Mr. Albanese said.
“I am always inspired by the spirit and energy that drives so many good results for the most disadvantaged in our society. This is a great project.”
Also at the launch was footballer, SBS commentator and refugee advocate Craig Foster. Mr. Foster’s #PlayForLives campaign has mobilised sports people from around Sydney to help Addi Road out with a number of their food rescue and food security efforts.
“It’s so wonderful. We’ve got over 60 organisations coming here, vulnerable people needing food, we’re now going to be able to produce our own hot food sustainably as well with renewable energy,” he said of the new kitchen.
In an average week, Addi Road prepares up to 1000 meals for people in need. Throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic the organisation was preparing up to 5000 meals in a single week.
Mr. Albanese said Addison Road’s efforts feeding the needy through the pandemic made them an “ideal recipient” for the grant. Since the Coles Nurture Fund was established in 2015 it has provided financial support to over 60 businesses to help them introduce innovative technology and improve sustainability.
Coles State General Manager for New South Wales Ivan Slunjski said he was “delighted” to see funding go towards a grassroots organisation such as Addison Road.
“At a time when providing food to people in need across Australia is so important due to the flow-on effect of COVID-19, we’re delighted to support Addison Road Community Centre,” he said.