Ronni Kahn didn’t set out to be the founder of one of Australia’s most recognisable charities – she just wanted to solve a problem. Surplus food from events put on by her business was wasteful; and many people in Sydney were going hungry. So one night at the end of a party, unable to dump yet another uneaten platter, she loaded up her car and delivered trays of gourmet food to a place helping people in need.
This memoir was a great read – interesting and inspiring. Though it threatened to be a bit mystical at times – whenever I found myself starting to think it was going off in too much of a ‘new age’ kind of direction, it quickly turned around to a practical/meaningful concept of how to live a life of service, right now, wherever you are and whatever your circumstances.
The first half of the book tells the story of Kahn’s life up until she started OzHarvest – and could actually have been a book in its own right. From apartheid South Africa to a kibbutz in Israel and then on to a new life in the unknown country of Australia, Kahn showed tenacity in her ability to ‘make up’ what she wanted her life to be rather than just ‘making do’ with what she had.
At the halfway point I thought the most interesting part was over. How wrong was I?! The birth of the food charity that feeds people while reducing food waste and its evolution throughout the following years is a fascinating history – from working out logistics of picking up and dropping off donations of food, to influencing changes to legislation (allowing businesses to donate food without having to worry about being liable). The many people who work and volunteer for the charity have their stories too, and the numerous examples of these will absolutely inspire you to want to go out and do good deeds every day, for yourself and others, to make the world a better place. I totally understand why my friend who lent this book to me started volunteering with OzHarvest as soon as she had turned the last page.