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Making A Difference

Rescuing Fresh Food to End Hunger in Australia

Ian Carson (OPM 42, 2012)

Ian Carson (OPM 42, 2012) and his wife, Simone, founded SecondBite, a nonprofit that feeds surplus food from growers and markets to more than a million needy Australians every month.

“The role of the food is not just feeding people. It also helps them get back into society,” he says.

When Carson, former state president of the Liberal Party in Victoria and founder at PPB Advisory, started SecondBite 10 years ago, reusing food had just become legalized. Today, the nonprofit has 800 volunteers serving 200 agencies in even the most remote parts of the country. Last year, the Carsons were awarded Social Entrepreneur of the Year from the World Economic Forum’s Schwab Foundation. SecondBite expects to feed 17,000,000 meals this year.

For Carson, the ability to adapt to clients’ needs, especially on an enormous scale, is crucial. He points to SecondBite’s partnership with Coles, one of Australia’s largest supermarket chains, as evidence of success. The grocery giant makes weekly food donations from 550 of its stores and enjoys significant employee engagement.

“What we do with Coles is the best example in Australia—and probably the world—of shared value,” Carson says. “People detest seeing food thrown away. Everyone gets that.”

(Published July 2016)