Rowville Secondary College’s VCAL students visited food charity FareShare last Tuesday, as part of their studies of global issues homelessness and poverty.

Every year, two million Australians will experience hunger, while others have excess that is being wasted.

FareShare is a charity that rescues surplus, quality food from supermarkets, farmers and other businesses, and redistributes it in the form of meals to those in need.

With the help of 800 regular volunteers, FareShare cooks this food into 25,000 free nutritious meals a week for Victorian charities – such as soup vans, homeless shelters, food banks and school breakfast programs. This is done in Australia’s largest charity kitchen, based in Abbotsford.

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Year 12 Team Leader Gary Gilbert believes it was an invaluable educational experience on homelessness and poverty.

“Our students had the privilege of visiting the FareShare kitchen, learning about the problems we face, and what FareShare does as an organisation,” he said.

“After some brief training, the students were put to work volunteering and had the opportunity to prepare and cook 1296 quiches, as well as preparing pastry and other food for the next volunteer group.

“It was a wonderful opportunity to see how charities function and the satisfaction that comes from giving charitable service to others.

“Students will be working back at school to develop their own community project, where they will work in groups to support a charity of their choice.”