Everyday enviro with Elise: food for good

Everyday enviro with Elise: food for good

By Elise Catterall  May 4th, 2021

The social enterprise preventing food insecurity and fighting food waste in Sydney’s Inner West.


Over the years I’ve written about a number of social enterprises, places that ooze with both humanity and hope like The Bower, The Bread & Butter Project, Oz Harvest, Reverse Garbage and in my last piece, The Sewing Basket.

This week, I want to introduce you to yet another — the Addi Road Food Pantry. Like The Sewing Basket, this social enterprise is doing double duty by helping people and the environment.

The Food Pantry is a low-cost grocery store which rescues perishable and non-perishable food, household products and pet food from being wasted and ending up in landfill. These rescued items provide affordable, high quality food to the community. The Food Pantry also provides support for numerous households with essential groceries by supplying them with food relief boxes for free.

There are two sites operating in Sydney, a newer one in Camperdown and the original Food Pantry based in the Addison Road Community Organisation precinct in Marrickville, which also houses Reverse Garbage, The Bower and Marrickville Markets each Sunday.

I recently visited the Addison Road Pantry for the first time, and I was so impressed with both the range of food and the service they offer. The Food Pantry is staffed mainly by volunteers who are warm and welcoming and ask for no proof of income or visa status. Everyone is welcome, even those who can’t pay.

Each visit allows you to purchase both non-perishable and perishable food at a very low cost — prices are calculated based on a point system. Plus, every customer receives a ‘sample bag’ of fresh veggies and can buy a beautiful loaf of bread from The Bread & Butter Project for a dollar. The quality of the food is really high and while some items might be close to their ‘best by’ date, they still have plenty of life left.

The items are typically rescued from or donated by large retailers and food manufacturers — places like Harris Farm, ALDI and Coles — and the Food Pantry currently estimates that it rescues an amazing five tonnes of food every week.

Whilst helping prevent food insecurity is a major goal, so is preventing food waste. The Food Panty encourages everyone to use its service, even those who aren’t currently in need or low-income, because every dollar spent there means more funds to procure food and subsidise food relief boxes. It’s an incredibly valuable option to stretch your budget while lowering your carbon footprint and preventing food and other items from ending up in landfill. There is no reason not to visit — it ticks every box.

You can also support the Food Pantry other ways, for example, by volunteering, donating food or household items or by supporting them financially. I hope you’ll check them out.

Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes. 


Elise Catterall

Elise is a writer, photographer, and naturopath with a passion for nature. She completed a Master of Public Health in 2017 through the University of Sydney. Her photographic work focuses on flowers and plants as a way of celebrating nature. She has been writing for Planet Ark since 2017, sharing positive environment stories, personal environmental experiences and perspectives.

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