How a local cookbook is going to change lives

A new cookbook has hit the shelves that will help local charities and their recipients make the most of rescued food, reduce food waste, fund charitable operations, inspire home cooks and help feed those most vulnerable in the community.

SunnyCoast Eats  – An A-Z Guide to cooking with local food, a collaboration between OzHarvest Sunshine Coast & Gympie and the  Nutrition and Dietetics discipline at the University of Sunshine Coast, will help OzHarvest recipients and home cooks make the most of donated items or food that’s left over at the end of the week.

OzHarvest local chapter founder and 2023 Sunshine Coast Citizen of the Year said SunnyCoast Eats was a comprehensive guide and recipe book that had been six years’ in the making.

“In 2017 we realized we were doing a great job of rescuing quality food that would have otherwise gone to landfill and re-distributing to organisations that feed those most vulnerable in the community, but there was an element missing,” Ms Lipner said.

“Sometimes we are passing on foods that people may not be familiar with using or it may not be obvious how the donated food might come together to form a meal—and that’s the same for people at home, who are trying to stretch their dollars and make the most of every item of food available.

“We put our heads together to find a solution and six years’ later, the result is SunnyCoast Eats, which will help those who receive donations from OzHarvest, and home cooks make the most out of every food item they receive, no matter what it is.

“The 100-page collection features 53 contributed recipes, which are easy to make, budget friendly and champion local ingredients as well as tips on kitchen basics, food swaps and reducing food waste at home—a problem that accounts for more than a third of the country’s food waste.

“Our initial print run is 2,000, with half the books donated to local OzHarvest recipient agencies and their clients. Thus, for every book purchased, one book is gifted. Proceeds from book sales will support local OzHarvest operations.

“SunnyCoast Eats is the result of hundreds of hours of effort by local OzHarvest volunteers, UniSC Nutrition and Dietetic students and community members. All creative input into the production of SunnyCoast Eats has been donated – including needs assessments, recipe development, design and graphics.”

“The partnership between OzHarvest and UniSC has been very rewarding and mutually beneficial, allowing students hands on real world experience with a local non-for-profit organisation and providing OzHarvest the additional workforce capacity to make the initial concept become a reality” (Angela Cleary)”

“15 students from both the UniSC Nutrition and Dietetics Programs completed Work Integrated Learning Projects with OzHarvest under the supervision of Michele Lipner and Angela Cleary (Lecturer Nutrition and Dietetics). Students engaged in a variety of projects, working in close collaboration with the SunnyCoast Eats working group to understand the need for the resource, design the concept and collate, test and photograph the recipes”.

SunnyCoast Eats is available to borrow from Sunshine Coast Libraries and available to purchase for $30 including postage from the OzHarvest office in Coolum sunshinecoast.info@ozharvest.org or through the OzHarvest Soul Shop.

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