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Feeding the homeless: NFF CEO takes on cooking challenge

11 February 2013

National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) CEO Matt Linnegar will swap his suit for a spatula this afternoon when he joins 130 CEOs from across the country in the Qantas and OzHarvest CEO Cookoff.

The Cookoff, now in its second year, aims to help feed Sydney’s homeless while raising funds for Australian charities and bringing attention to the issue of food security.

“It seems only fitting that as the CEO of Australia’s national agriculture body – representing the people who grow Australia’s food and fibre – I take on the CEO Cookoff challenge to provide food for some of Sydney’s most needy,” Mr Linnegar said.

“At the NFF, one of our core focuses is on global food security and the need to increase our domestic agricultural production to meet the growing global demand for food and fibre.

“Australian farmers already help feed 60 million people worldwide – yet the UN predicts that with the global population expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, food production needs to increase by 70 percent.

“But what about food security closer to home? We are lucky to live in a country with an abundant supply of fresh, nutritious, safe, high quality and affordable food, with Australian farmers producing almost 93 percent of Australia’s daily domestic food supply.

“And yet not all Australians are able to access the benefits. According to the National Food Plan Issues Paper, five percent of the Australian population could be food insecure at any one time – particularly the very old, isolated rural Australians, Indigenous Australians, new migrants and low income households. In fact, two million Australians have reported that over the course of a year, they ran out of food and could not afford to buy more.

“Meanwhile, food waste in Australia equals 7.5 million tonnes – or 361 kilograms per person – per year, and more than half of all Australians are overweight or obese.

“While there are great challenges ahead for Australia, and the world, in overcoming food security issues including food accessibility, affordability, distribution and wastage, organisations like OzHarvest are doing a fantastic job in rescuing excess food and delivering it to those in need. I urge you to show your support by donating to the CEO Cookoff today,” Mr Linnegar said.

All donations to the CEO Cookoff go to Australian charities OzHarvest, The Big Issue and ONE80TC, and are tax deductable. For more, visit the CEO Cookoff website.

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