FareShare Brisbane – Cooking free, nutritious meals for people doing it tough.

For the last five years, Foodbank Queensland and FareShare Brisbane have been working closely together to support Queenslanders in need.

Foodbank Queensland plays a crucial role by providing the majority of ingredients for FareShare’s Brisbane kitchen. Foodbank takes pride in supplying these essential resources that FareShare transforms into nutritious, ready-to-eat meals for those in need. Working hand in hand, to ensure that donated food reaches its fullest potential, this partnership serves as a lifeline for individuals and families experiencing hardship in Queensland.

The produce Foodbank Queensland provides to FareShare includes fresh produce rescued from Queensland farms. This produce is donated directly to Foodbank due to several reasons, such as not meeting supermarket specifications or oversupply. Instead of this perfectly edible food going to waste, Foodbank rescues the produce and freely provides it to FareShare to prepare into meals.  Ben O’Donoghue, Foodbank Queensland Ambassador, joined James, Production Manager at FareShare Brisbane on a tour of the facility recently, Ben commented,

It was amazing to be shown the impressive cooking facilities and kitchen at FareShare. The awesome work that Foodbank and FareShare complete together is essential, not only helping Queenslanders in need but also farmers and the environment.” – Ben

featured image

With Queensland’s largest commercial charity kitchen, FareShare has cooked over 6 million meals for hungry Queenslanders in the past five years alone. This remarkable achievement stands as a testament to FareShare’s dedication to combating hunger and nourishing communities across Queensland.

Their impact extends far beyond the kitchen, touching the lives of countless individuals and families who rely on their nutritious meals. This is needed more than ever with the cost-of-living crisis and other impacts, as James explained,

“We’ve had a huge influx of population moving into Queensland for the last five years. This puts pressure on the housing market, increase in cost & supply. Then throw a couple of floods on top of that. This has pushed people into reaching out for a helping hand for the first time.  Houseless/Homeless is being noticed in a growing rate in our city & suburbs. Some of these people, just need a helping hand, others require long term support. And if it’s one our FareShare meals, that is the start of that process, then WOW.  What better way?” – James

featured image

featured image

The rise in meal production has been essential, as the growing demand for support by FareShare and other food relief charities continues to rise.

January saw a double in production of nutritious meals from 54,000 in 2023, to just over 109,000 meals in 2024.” – James

These meals are mostly packaged in a single-serve container, packed with protein and vegetables. These ready-to-eat meals include casseroles, stir-fry’s,  soups, pasta dishes and stews.  Each week, the menu changes depending on what produce, and groceries are donated. This requires the staff at FareShare to not only be experienced in the kitchen but also creative and flexible in their cooking with the added support of a 400 strong volunteer workforce.

For many people, a FareShare meal will be the only meal of the day and our chefs do everything possible to make it count.”

After FareShare chefs cook up tasty meals, Foodbank Queensland distributes them to frontline charities. This partnership ensures that together, Foodbank and FareShare are helping as many Queenslanders as possible,

“We certainly can’t work without Foodbank. The support that Foodbank gives us as far as logistical support is huge. It’s invaluable. Produce received from Foodbank enables us to create a diverse & culturally appropriate nutritious meal for zero cost to charity agencies.  385,000 tonnes of surplus, rescued & donated produce last year has helped a vast number of families right across Queensland, from as far north as Mornington Is, Carins, Mt. Isa, Townsville, Dalby, Rockhampton, Bundaberg, St. George, Gold Coast.   – James

featured image

featured image

FareShare is also continuing to expand its other programs including its First Nations Program, ‘Meals for the Mob’, as well as creating non-perishable meals, ideal for providing food relief in remote and regional Australia, and for communities impacted by natural disasters.

As this partnership continues, Foodbank Queensland hopes to further expand its reach and impact to communities across the state, including distributing FareShare meals to rural Queensland.

However, this is not possible without your support. By donating to Foodbank Queensland, you can directly contribute to providing nutritious meals to those facing hardship in Queensland. Donate here to make a difference.