Food Donations

We hate seeing good food go to waste when we know there are still so many hungry people to feed, so we are always looking for opportunities to accept food donations – BUT – food safety is a priority for us, especially because we cater for some of the most vulnerable people in our community. 

One Meal operates within the Safe Food Handling Guidelines of both State and Federal Health departments and complies with applicable food safety and food handling legislation, including any relevant Covid requirements from time to time.


One Meal welcomes ad-hoc and regular food donor partnerships with registered food businesses that comply with food safety legislation and practices. Important legislation is in place providing indemnity for companies that donate safe food. Our volunteers are also trained to spot potential risks and take all reasonable precautions to ensure they do not accept items they deem unsafe for any reason.

If you are a registered food business and would like to donate surplus food to help people in need in your community, please contact us or get in touch with our service location closest to your business operation. We would love to hear from you!

PRIVATE HOUSEHOLDS – Perishable items

Unfortunately due to food safety requirements, we are unable to accept ad-hoc donations of perishable food from private households. We are able to accept non-perishable donations (see below). If you wish to cook and donate meals, or provide a regular donation of perishable food from your home, you will need to become a regular member of one of our volunteer cooking teams and go through our Safe a Food Handling training requirements. For more information on volunteering with us – please see our Volunteering page information.


One Meal is very happy to accept donations of non-perishable items from your pantry, or perhaps from a ‘food drive’ you organise in your school or neighbourhood! To find out more about “food-raising” for us, please visit our “Fundraising for Us” page for ideas on how you can get involved. 

Non-perishable items like tinned fruit and veggies, canned fruit, bottled sauces, long-life milk, tea, coffee, vegemite, tinned fish, baked beans, soups, etc – are all very gratefully received.  These items are either given directly to people in need, or incorporated in meals at our weekly free community meal services.

Depending on where you are located, we have a number of drop-off/collection points, or one of our volunteers may be able to collect donated items from you/your school/work. Please contact our service location closest to you to arrange these details – but before you go, there are some VERY IMPORTANT guidelines for what food is suitable and what we unfortunately cannot accept:

We CANNOT collect:

  • Anything past its “USE BY” date
  • Leaking or unsealed products
  • Items without intact original labelling showing use by dates, product info, etc.
  • Food with visible mould or contamination
  • Food that is damaged or perished to an extent that affects its reasonable use
  • Dry goods more than 3 months past the “BEST BEFORE” date
  • Any item that is unfit for consumption – if you wouldn’t eat it, please don’t put in on to someone else who’s already doing it tough!

We CAN collect:

  • Items up to 5 days before the “USE BY” date
  • Dry goods up to 3 months after the “BEST BEFORE” date (providing it has been well stored and is still fit for consumption)
  • Items that have their packaging intact and remain sealed (unopened goods)
  • Bashed, battered and dented tins, torn labels, etc – provided it remains sealed and has visible ‘USE BY’ date

THANK YOU for your support!!           


Note: If you are donating non-perishables to our Northern Beaches team, this link gives all current donation drop-off locations

To further discuss donating food please contact One Meal or any of our locations closest to you.