Case Study: Pledge A Plate

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Maeve O’Meara and OzHarvest Ambassadors, by Elena Duggan.

Pledge a Plate is a social media campaign developed by amazing food waste company OzHarvest.  The whole premise is that you make a tasty meal out of leftovers, share it on one of your social platforms with the hashtag #PledgeAPlate, nominate someone to do the same, and then donate.

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You could make Elena’s Apple, Cheese, and Bickies with me, by Elena Duggan.

As a passionate foodie, but also a tertiary student for like the last seven and half years, I love this campaign.  Combining my love of food and cooking with my entire lack of dollarydoos, I can feel great about being creative with my leftover food stuffs and donating a very small amount that I would otherwise probably spend on the crazy expensive Sydney transport system.  Shout out to #Opal.

Two of my first experiences with OzHarvest were actually through my deep fan commitment to MasterChef Australia, and my annual three weeks of every possible meal spent at the Sydney Night Noodle Markets in October.  MasterChef Australia has done a really good job the last few seasons of really emphasising the food philosophy of tail to snout, root to stem by having contestants challenged to be creative with all food scraps.

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Poor little shells, by Elena Duggan.

If you were a fan of this most recent season you would have seen dishes like Elena Duggan’s Cool as a Cucumber which made use of one ingredient in a million possible ways which really helps people consider different ways to utilise ingredients in creative styles when they have leftovers.  I’d say I’m plugging most recent Masterchef winner Elena Duggan here but let’s be real, she doesn’t need the help.  She’s helping a sister out… thanks for all the rad sketches!

Anyway, my love of MasterchefAU led me to wondering where all the excess food goes.  They actually partner with organisations like OzHarvest and Food Bank.

At the NNM (Night Noodle Markets guys, come on!) a lovely volunteer for OzHarvest approached me and my friends to see if we’d wish to purchase some fortune cookies.  The proceeds were going towards feeding those in need.  I had such a lovely conversation with this woman, and she was a wealth of knowledge on something she was obviously so passionate about.

Now you might be thinking, “…oooh how timely!  She’s talking about food waste the same day the NNM kick off!”  Well, I just can’t get anything past you guys, can I?  I wouldn’t do you guys like that… except that I totally would and totally did. 
*See upcoming Tips and Tricks post about scheduling and planning out your calendar in a social media campaign! 😉

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Berry Smoothies for me, by Elena Duggan.

More recently, what’s making them successful?  Sarah Wilson is the woman who quit sugar, and mind you not only still lives to tell the tale, but has lived on to become an entrepreneur, writer, health conscious individual, and someone who has changed a lot of peoples’ lives.  She is also a woman who pledges plates.

Big names like her and their LONG list of celebrity official ambassadors, plus their endless commitment to nourishing the country have kept their name at the forefront of this initiative for social change.  Within a year of starting OzHarvest, founder Ronni Kahn and a group of lawyers worked tirelessly to achieve a legislative change that removed restriction of repurposing surplus food.

Lots of stuff to take in obviously, and you can tell it’s close to my heart… You can donate here but regardless, I’d highly recommend reading up and following these organisations so you can lead a more aware existence on these matters.  (I say this knowing my readers are probably all over leading aware existences… Love y’all!)

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Here’s a *toast* to all the cranky bread out there, by Elena Duggan.

Takeaways:

  1. The Night Noodle Markets in Sydney is a food mecca we should all attend every year.
  2. Creative and easy ways to get people to contribute to a cause are essential.
  3. Keeping your followers and contributors up to date with the amazing impacts they’re having is key to maintaining their dedication to your cause.
  4. Consider the roles of ambassadors, and approach people you’d love to have on board.
  5. One visit to their website or social platforms shows a very clear and memorable branding.  Their logo and colour scheme is etched in my mind, and I know that if I see people in those shirts, I know what they’re doing immediately.
  6. Finally, taking things offline in activism is not only important but necessary for social change.  We here are not ignoring or pretending that’s not true.  Online activism is a good start, and essential but should work in conjunction with offline work.

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There’s so much you can do with my skin and rind too, ya know? By Elena Duggan.

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