September 6, 2021 | By Bronwen Largier

With an increasing focus on sustainability, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) has stepped up its partnership with food rescue charity OzHarvest to host a trial of its “Cooking for a Cause” program in the venue’s kitchens, donating $100k of in-kind value through resources and service provision along the way.

MCEC has one of the biggest commercial kitchens in the Southern Hemisphere.

The convention centre’s Chief Executive, Peter King, said the latest initiative with OzHarvest was a good fit for MCEC.

“Globally, one third of all edible food produced is thrown in the bin, and with one in every nine Australian’s unsure where their next meal is coming from, OzHarvest and their goals are relevant to all of us as a community.”

“At MCEC we are passionate about sustainability and being community-minded, and we completely align with what they are working to achieve.”

“The events industry can contribute a lot of food waste, so this is the perfect way to try and reverse that cycle, and give back to those in Melbourne who need it most.”

OzHarvest’s State Manager for Victoria Bernardo Tobias said that the existing partnership between the food rescue charity and the venue has delivered close to 75,000 meals to those in need during the pandemic.

“We are also thrilled to be able to host our corporate engagement program ‘Cooking for a cause’ at the MCEC kitchens,” said Tobias.

“There’s no better way to get involved with cause than by joining OzHarvest chefs to learn zero-waste cooking skills, while transforming rescued ingredients into hundreds of gourmet meals, ready for distribution to vulnerable communities.”