Second Bite is a well established community service in Melbourne. Its mission is food recycling; that is, using food that would otherwise be wasted. It's about giving good, fresh ingredients new life in a commercial kitchen and, with a bit of creativity, turning them into healthy, hearty meals for people in need.


Until a few years ago, this practice was illegal.  But in 2002, the Victorian Government's Wrongs Act created new protection for those donating food 'in good faith for a charitable or benevolent purpose', provided the food was 'safe to consume at the time it left the possession or control of the food donor'.  In response, restaurants, cafes and food sellers were able to donate items they were previously forced to dump.

Second Bite's operation has now reached the stage where it is expanding very rapidly.  Roger Fletcher, a Second Bite volunteer, was the guest speaker at Rotary Club of Hawthorn on 19 July, 2011, and told members of the good work being done by the group.

The Rotary Club of Hawthorn has been providing volunteer services to Second Bite since 2007, when it was decided to get behind Katy and assist in a practical way.  It was decided that we would replicate Second Bite's program of collecting unwanted food from restaurants, markets and other similar outlets and taking it to a welfare agency where it could be used to provide needed meals for welfare recipients.

We have commenced a program using our own members who attend the Camberwell Market around 4pm on a Saturday afternoon, collect food from a wide range of shopkeepers and take it to the Bowen Street, Camberwell HQ of the local Salvation Army agency.  The food is then used in the meals which the Salvos serve at Bowen Street.

Our members are enjoying their participation in this activity.  It is not very taxing yet gives the feeling of making a meaningful contribution to the lives of some less fortunate members of our local community.