OzHarvest Food Hero, Mick, was kind enough to let me (Liv, Marketing Coordinator here at Artisan) help him out on his food rescue mission last week.
Whilst in the passenger’s seat I bombarded him with questions, he was a great sport and does some absolutely awesome work. Here’s what we chatted about...
So Mick, how long have you worked for OzHarvest?
I started working for OzHarvest about 18 months ago now, how time flies!
What is it that drew you to the organisation?
I’m a passionate animal rights activist and have a real interest in environmental issues. I’ve volunteered with heaps of different charities over the years and it’s something I love doing. Before working for OzHarvest I was a landscape gardener for various councils across Melbourne, planting trees and caring for green spots around the city, so I always knew I’d look for a job that did some good! I found out about OzHarvest a year before starting with them and was a big fan of what they do, so when they popped up during my job search I didn’t hesitate to apply.
Talk me through a typical day on the job.
Most days in the OzHarvest van follow a pretty similar pattern, for instance we’ll usually pick up from the same establishments and drop off at the same not-for-profits on a Tuesday every week. Occasionally one of our food donors will call us at short notice to let us know they’ve got stacks of food leftover from a corporate event or something, so we’ll go and collect it. I guess ‘same, same but different’ describes it pretty well; you know how the saying goes!
What do you love most about what you do?
I’ve never really been one for a desk job, I like to be on the move – that’s what makes OzHarvest so perfect for me! I like the flow of the work, meeting the people that volunteer their time at the non-profits we deliver to but also the appreciation they show for our work. It’s great to know we’re making such a difference to people’s lives.
Do you know how much food you’ve rescued since you started working for OzHarvest?
Funny you should ask that actually, I was thinking about this just the other day. I don’t have a finite figure but I suppose we could make an educated guess. Let’s say I average about 300kg each day and do four shifts a week, that’s 1200kg. I’ve probably worked about 70 weeks since I started, that would make it roughly 84,000kg for me alone, but we have picked up 507kg so far today so who knows? That's just a guesstimate really.
Has working for OzHarvest changed your food habits?
Oh absolutely! I’ve really tried to cut down on the amount of food waste I produce over the past two years. I recycle as much as I can and compost all my food scraps, so I only need to empty my main kitchen bin once every couple of months. I’ll also always do my best to buy everything I need second hand.
Why would you encourage people to volunteer their time with you guys?
Volunteering with us is a real eye-opener! Coming from Australia, the States or the UK we’re all aware that food gets wasted but I think we’re also slightly blind to the sheer volumes that are being thrown away every day.
As you’ll know by now, OzHarvest are our 2016 champion charity and I can’t stress enough how great the cause is. So if you’re feeling generous, why not make a donation?
Alternatively, if you want to get stuck in and lend a hand yourself, you can volunteer your services by clicking here.
Artisan Recruitment Consultant, Whitmore, loved volunteering with Mick too! Read about what he learned on his day out with OzHarvest and what he took away from the experience in this InProfile.