Toni started volunteering with Bendigo Foodshare in mid 2022, and quickly felt like she was making a difference.

“I am currently studying a Bachelor of Food and Nutrition with the dream of becoming a dietitian. I started volunteering at Bendigo Foodshare because I am very passionate about food waste, food security, nutrition and of course food (who doesn’t love food though, am I right?),” she said.

Through her course Toni came to learn about food waste, poverty and the huge number of people who are food insecure, meaning they do not have a reliable access to an adequate amount of affordable and nutritious food.

“I have always been passionate about limiting food waste although, even I was astounded to learn that 1 in 5 bags of groceries that are purchased are later thrown into the bin, that’s 300kg/person/year. Perfectly fine fresh produce is turned away from supermarkets due to very strict cosmetic standards, for example bananas need to be a certain size, weight, and shape. At the same time 1.2 million children go hungry each year and 1 in 6 adults haven’t been able to access a sufficient amount of food.”

Onsite at the Bendigo Foodshare warehouse, along with a fantastic bunch of fellow volunteers, Toni helps sort fruit and veg that are donated from a variety of organisations, farmers and individual’s gardens into boxes that are sent out to local charities. She also helps with social media posts, including nutrition facts and recipe development.

Make sure to check out Toni’s personal food and nutrition Instagram page @nutrition_visions for recipes, food pictures and food/nutrition facts and advice.