Aussie Home Loans’ Chief Executive James Symond has thrown his support behind charity group OzHarvest, which rescues surplus food and uses it to deliver nutritious meals to people in need.
Mr Symond will be taking part in the 2016 OzHarvest CEO CookOff for the first time, which is being held at The Cutaway at Barangaroo Reserve in Sydney on March 7.
Mr Symond has personally raised over $60,000 in less than one week, and has upped his original fundraising target from $50,000 to $100,000 which will provide 200,000 meals to people in need.
The extensive list of generous supporters backing Mr Symond reads as a who’s who of Australian business leaders, including Brian Hartzer, Ryan Stokes, Justin Hemmes, John Borghetti, John McGrath, Matt Comyn and MFAA Chief Siobhan Hayden, among many others.
Mr Symond said “Our business has built its brand on doing the right thing, and helping disadvantaged Australians, including the homeless, is important to me and the whole Aussie team. Being able to get involved not just from a monetary perspective but to actively do something to help made this an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.
“For many years Aussie has supported a number of causes including supplying food for Christmas Day lunches held by charities like the Salvation Army and Mission Australia, and this is a great extension of that activity and a way to help more people year round,” he added.
The CEO CookOff is OzHarvest’s flagship annual event, aimed at increasing awareness of food insecurity, homelessness and food wastage in Australia, with $4 million raised over the last five years.
With a combined 42 Chef’s Hats between them, Australia's top chefs taking part in the CEO CookOff include Neil Perry (Rockpool), Matt Moran (ARIA) and Guillaume Brahimi (Guillaume). Fifty chefs will be helping 150 CEOs to cook and prepare a three-course meal feeding 1,300 homeless and disadvantaged Australians.
To donate to Mr Symond’s fundraising efforts or to find out more about OzHarvest, visit www.ceocookoff.com.au/fundraisers/jamessymond.