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ABOUT US

Rescuing Food, Fighting Hunger: Together

Picture yourself in beautiful Byron Bay.  You are surrounded by abundance. 

People are enjoying the amazing local produce and cuisine.  

But you are hungry. You are worried. Where is your next meal coming from? 

You see good food being thrown away.   

We see this.  That's why we do our thing. 

A group of volunteers in the kitchen, smiling and making heart shape with their hands.

Our 
Story

A picture of Honu Dawson smiling.

OUR ORIGIN STORY

When Buddist nun The Venerable Honu Dawson came to Byron Bay, she saw many people struggling to make ends meet.  And she also saw good food from homes and businesses going to landfill.

Honu recognised the generous spirit of the Byron community, who shared her concerns and were ready to lend a hand. 

 

On the 1st May 2009 Liberation Larder humbly opened for business.  Honu invited anyone from the community to bring their excess food to the Byron Community Centre. She invited anyone who needed food to come each Thursday at 4pm and take what they needed. No questions were asked, and a small donation was accepted if they could afford it.

 

It wasn’t long before a group of women from Suffolk Park were also making nutritious casseroles and other wholesome meals to contribute.

 

Liberation Larder was a lifeline for many people.  From a small base of 20 or so clients at first it grew and stabilised.  In partnership with the Byron Community Centre, Liberation Larder moved into the Fletcher Street kitchen where food could be safely stored, prepared and served.  A lunch service started two days a week, run by Honu and a small band of volunteers.

 

Honu knocked on many doors in those early days and her persistence secured the first regular food donations. Honu sadly passed away in August 2023 after a long illness,  but her vision and commitment guided Liberation Larder to success.

OUR STORY CONTINUES

Food insecurity and food waste are still a challenge in our community. Liberation Larder has kept growing.  Helen Hamilton led the organisation after Honu, with current committee president Elizabeth Jackson receiving the baton on 2018.   

 

More than 45 volunteers are now always on the job – sourcing, collecting, cooking & distributing food to those in need. They take on different roles including food pickup drivers, collectors, kitchen crew, home bakers, home deliveries, gardeners, fund raisers, social media & coordinators.  

 

The statistics to quantify our impact change every year, and you can see the latest in our latest annual report here

But what doesn't change is our commitment to provide good food to those in need.  

We see new and familiar faces arrive to the community centre.  People who are living rough, living out of cars, struggling with the cost of living, and often, on their way to work.  We support people with mental health issues, drug dependency, unemployment, safety and financial challenges.  We recognise that anyone can find themselves with food insecurity and we help those in need without judgement. 

Keeping the service running without guaranteed funding has required commitment and ingenuity from our volunteers. At one stage, Liberation Larder lacked food and financial support to support everyone who needed the service. We looked for more food rescue and funding opportunities, and in casting our net wider our team of supporters has grown.

 

We have been the charity of choice for many local festivals, working with Falls Festival, Splendour in the Grass and BluesFest.  Volunteers collect food donations from supporters at the local Farmers Market, wholesale & retail businesses, cafes & restaurants in our area. 

Liberation Larder is a community success story that addresses a very real problem that is both local and global. Rescuing food and fighting hunger every day. There are lots of exciting challenges & opportunities ahead and we invite everyone to join us.

OUR COMMITTEE

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