Paula Brodie, Project Manager, VenuesLive NSW

You may think that when events get cancelled at the last minute no good can come from it.  Well, there is one thing that we are proud to say we can do – and that is donating any produce and product that is destined to for the waste pile.

Rather than sending perfectly good food to landfill, our venues have established relationships with food donation organisations where the food is shared or used to feed Australians in need.

After the AFL Western Derby was cancelled at Optus Stadium on 2 May, 6168 food items (such as sandwiches, bread, milk, pizzas, pies) and 1826kgs of fresh produce was collected by Oz Harvest to send to 90+ organisations across WA including women’s shelters, homeless shelters, schools and retirement homes. Optus Stadium has a great relationship with Oz Harvest and donates around 120,000 meals to them every year.

Recently when the Sydney FC v Melbourne Victory at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium scheduled for Saturday 20 March was cancelled, all perishable products and produce was donated to Mama Lana’s Community Foundation.

Mama Lana’s volunteers provide meals and support services to those experiencing homelessness or facing food insecurity within the community.

In NSW, this shared initiative commenced in late 2018 and the successful collaboration has contributed toward 120,000 meals that Mama Lanas volunteers have provided to those in need.

Congratulations to all teams involved in these excellent initiatives, showing again that stadiums and venues are not just for the community but part of the community.