[White text on a black screen reads Katy Barfield, executive director, SecondBite. In the right hand corner, the logo for Gusto! A culinary history of Victoria appears.
Outside a warehouse, a red, white and green sign reads SecondBite, food for people in need. Beside the words is a logo of a red apple with two bites taken from it.
Near shelves stacked with pallets, a man drives a forklift carrying black trays.
Boxes hold apples and pears. Baguettes fill a large plastic tray.]
Katy Barfield: So SecondBite’s all about fresh food. It’s about collecting high volumes of fresh, good-quality food for people that are living in disadvantaged circumstances.
[A woman wearing a T-shirt with the SecondBite logo on it sits in a warehouse. Behind her, boxes of food sit on tables and shelves.]
Katy: Well, it began with Ian Carson, who is the chairman of SecondBite now, sitting in Becco, having lunch, very nice. And he saw all of the food that was left on the plate going back to the kitchen and he called over the owner of Becco, Simon, and said, 'What happens to all of this food?' And Simon said, 'Well, we throw it away.' And he said, 'Do you have a lot of waste?' And he said, 'Well, there is a fair amount some weeks, yes.' And he said, 'If I could find somewhere to take this food, would you have it redistributed? Would you let us take it somewhere?' And Simon said, 'I’ll look into that, and if that’s possible, yes.' So that’s where the idea was born from. But it really got some traction when a group of enthusiastic volunteers started to go to the Prahran Market and collect fresh food.
[In the warehouse, a man empties a crate of food into a box.
A man rides a bike towing a covered trolley from the warehouse.
In the warehouse are eggs stacked in cartons, boxes laden with yoghurt tubs and crates of vegetables.]
Katy: Food that was left over from the market on a Saturday, packed into boxes, taken by volunteers down to Sacred Heart Mission where it was turned into nutritious, delicious meals. And they are delicious. I’ve eaten them. [Laughs] So where it’s gone from is, you know, me and a desk and some enthusiastic volunteers to a national organisation that moves 150 tonnes of fresh food every month, which is actually enough for 300,000 meals.
[A white van with the SecondBite logo on its door is parked in an outdoor carpark.
People sort food in the warehouse.]
Katy: And we have a fleet of ten vans. We have 28 employees and we have 550 active volunteers that help us, without whom we could not run. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to work out that there’s this fantastic quantity of good-quality, fresh food that’s going in the bin. And we’ve got 1.2 million Australians that regularly run out of food every single year and do not have enough money to buy more. That, we believe, is a huge underestimation, as well. So $5.2 billion worth of food going in the bin, 1.2 million people hungry? It makes sense to put these laws in place …
[A man wearing a SecondBite jacket pushes a trolley through the warehouse.
Boxes are full of plums, pineapples and apples.]
Katy: … so that we can redistribute this fantastic food and get it to people in need. So we facilitate a collection from a food donor to the community food agency. We put that all in place for them and make all of the right checks so they never get given food that isn’t good quality and isn’t fresh. But by the same token, we know that that food will never be sold on. It is going directly to some of the most disadvantaged people in the country. We set that up and then they undertake that relationship for themselves and we’re just here to help and support. And I love that model because it’s dignified, it’s sustainable, it enables the community to help itself as opposed to us giving handouts.
[Crates are full of eggplants, potatoes and grapes, silverbeet and eggs.]
Katy: I think you can do so much with leftover ingredients by putting them into some tasty stock, adding in some fresh herbs and putting in your leftover vegies, for example. I’m also a bit of a Tupperware lover, I’ll be honest, you know. A bit of a nanna in me. I’ve got Tupperware in my fridge. So when I cooked up my vegies at the weekend, I roasted off all my vegies, I cooked everything I had so that it doesn’t just sit there and then go off in the cupboard. It’s now in Tupperware in my fridge so that when I get home – ’cause I’m busy, I’m working, but I still want my kids to eat fresh – I can just heat that up. I can heat up those roast potatoes, I can heat up the soup, I can heat those elements up and give them to my children. And I think it’s just planning ahead. If you can cook large batches, you can freeze things off, you can put them in your fridge and you can make so much go a really long way. You can make a small amount go a long way by doing that.
[White credits show on a black screen.
Senior producer: Andrew Barrie, Lightwell
Production assistant: Fiona McCallum, Lightwell
Editor: Steve McCallum
Direction and camera assistance: Antuong Nguyen
Cinematographer: Gus Kemp
Interviewer: Tracey Judd Iva (Gusto! exhibition curator)
Exhibition manager: Edwina Bartlem
Exhibition coordinator: Eleanor Adams
Katy Barfield, interviewed at SecondBite distribution centre, Melbourne
Concepts and research: Robert Heather, Tracey Judd Iva, Ann Carew, Edwina Bartlem, Anna Corkhill
Special thanks: Donna LePage, SecondBite
For more information about SecondBite, visit: secondbite.org]
[The logo for Gusto! A culinary history of Victoria appears above the words A State Library of Victoria exhibition, 3 August 2012 – 28 April 2013. slv.vic.gov.au/gusto.
The logos of the State Library of Victoria and State Government of Victoria appear underneath.]
[Three lines of logos appear on a screen.
Sponsored by: City of Melbourne, William Angliss Institute.
Supported by: Markets of Melbourne.
Program partners: Melbourne Food & Wine Festival presented by Bank of Melbourne, Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation, The Little Veggie Patch Company and The Sebel Heritage, Yarra Valley.]