The project is an Australian-first, social impact collaboration between leading food rescue organisation, OzHarvest and Food for Soul. Born out of a shared vision to nurture the well-being of people and the health of the planet, founders Ronni Kahn AO of OzHarvest and Massimo Bottura of Food for Soul have created a community hub welcoming those in need, to feel at home and enjoy a nourishing meal.
The Refettorio model is designed to meet the needs of those experiencing food insecurity and provide a positive experience for guests. The Refettorio embraces Food for Soul’s guiding principles, value of hospitality, power of beauty, and collective ideas to provide a dignified dining experience for Sydney’s most vulnerable, alongside actions that protect the environment and foster social inclusion.
Our logo is a reflection of our shared values around the importance of ensuring everyone has dignified access to quality, nutritious food. Blending OzHarvest’s signature yellow, against a black wheel backdrop signifies our commitment to food security. The intricate white heart design is linked together with spoons to symbolize love and nourishment.
“We all need to eat to survive. Food is the great connector, it is a universal language. Around the table we are equals. Even more importantly, around a table we are together. This is what we will try to do with our partner OzHarvest: cure humanity through the incredible power of food."
“We see the transformative power a meal can make every day and are thrilled to be bringing the Refettorio model to Australia, with the wonderful Massimo Bottura and Food for Soul. Refettorio OzHarvest Sydney will open in September, making delicious and nourishing food available to those who need it most.”
Volunteer are the heart and soul of the Refettorio playing a huge role supporting the needs of the community, giving time and compassion to support our mission.
Help keeps our doors open with a donation, or by joining as a regular giver. Every dollar helps grow our impact and allows us to get good food to those who need it most.
Food for Soul is a cultural nonprofit organization advocating for socially responsible actions that improve the health of our planet and well-being of people. Since the opening of Refettorio Ambrosiano, Milan in 2015, founders Chef Massimo Bottura and Lara Gilmore have been empowering and mobilizing local communities to reduce food loss and waste and support social inclusion. By enabling the transformation of people, places and food, Food for Soul’s mission aims to scale a culture of value to foster food systems that are sustainable, healthy and equitable that bridge opportunities for social and economic mobility and strengthen resilience for all.
Founded by Ronni Kahn AO in 2004 after noticing the huge volume of food going to waste, OzHarvest has quickly grown to become Australia’s leading food rescue organization. Food is at the heart of everything we do, feeding those who need it most, creating positive change through education programs and inspiring others to join us to fight food waste. Our work aligns with five UN Sustainable Development Goals and we’re committed to the national goal of halving food waste by 2030. With a passionate team of staff, volunteers and partners – we are dedicated to ‘Nourishing our Country’ and protecting our planet.
Located on Crown Street in Surry Hills, the split-level venue will serve around 100 meals a day to support community needs and ensure no one goes hungry. Our meals are prepared from fresh, rescued ingredients, with a focus on seasonal ingredients wherever possible.
Building on the shared practices of Refettorio’s around the world, the space is designed to be warm, elegant and intimate, and create a sense of belonging. With over 100 years of history, the building has been renovated to include solar power, sustainable practices and design elements to embrace nature. The Refettorio will host special events, weekly dinners and be available for private hire, to help foster local connections and inclusion to grow our impact and support our mission.
The Refettorio team will work with the local community and OzHarvest’s network of charities to ensure those experiencing food insecurity can access a delicious free meal during the week. Regardless of circumstance, guests will be warmly welcomed without judgement and served with dignity and respect.
Based on Food for Soul and OzHarvest’s zero-waste philosophy, rescued ingredients will be transformed into nourishing meals made with love. Food will be provided through OzHarvest’s food rescue operations, where quality surplus food is collected from a network of local food donors. As part of our commitment to protecting the planet and the health benefits of a plant-based diet, the menu will be 100% vegetarian.
The free lunch service is offered Tuesday-Friday from midday til 2.30 p.m. The daily menu will be prepared by OzHarvest chefs and served by a dedicated team of volunteers. Due to limited seating capacity in the Refettorio, we will also offer a delicious take-away option.
The Refettorio will include activities to support some of OzHarvest’s education programs including Nourish, NEST and FEAST, and evolve to offer workshops and events that celebrate the local culture, arts and humanities. Learn more at OzHarvest EDUCATION programs.
We are deeply grateful to the like-minded partners and supporters who have helped make this project possible.
There are many ways to be part of Refettorio OzHarvest’s story, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to be involved, either through in-kind donations or financial partnerships to support the long-term sustainability of the project.