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International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) unveils Edible Centrepieces – an innovative, community-driven service which allows both clients and the venue to deliver on their sustainability goals and increase their support for the Matthew Talbot Hostel, a service run by the St. Vincent De Paul Society New South Wales.

The Matthew Talbot Hostel has been caring for men experiencing homelessness for more than 80 years. It is a safe space providing crisis accommodation, healthcare, food, clothing, washing facilities and specialised support to help more than 20,000 men get back on their feet each year.

With 7.3 million tonnes of food waste ending up in Australia’s landfill each year 1, ICC Sydney’s new initiative forms part of its industry-leading Legacy Program, and not only reduces waste but helps give back to those most in need.

Edible Centrepieces allow clients to replace floral arrangements with table centrepieces created from seasonal fruits, vegetables and herbs, sourced from the venue’s 129 New South Wales-based network of suppliers. These unique arrangements are able to be displayed in complimentary recycled vases.

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Post-event, the ICC Sydney Culinary Services team uses the produce to donate nutritious meals to the Matthew Talbot Hostel.

ICC Sydney CEO, Geoff Donaghy said the initiative builds on the venue’s work to date, which includes 100% diversion of captured food waste 2.

“Over the past year, we have already diverted 485 tonnes of organic food waste and donated more than 2,840kg of food to the Matthew Talbot Hostel 3. We’re committed to partnering with our clients, local suppliers and the community to leave a lasting legacy for events long after they are over, and our Legacy Program offers clients a myriad of ways in which they can give back.”

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Vinnies Acting Accommodation Manager at the Matthew Talbot Hostel, Mark Purchase, said the Edible Centrepieces service is just one more way in which ICC Sydney is demonstrating its compassion and focus on driving positive outcomes.

“ICC Sydney is more than a venue. It’s an organisation which makes a huge difference to the community. The high-quality food donated by ICC Sydney goes a long way in supporting the 200 men we serve at each meal at the Matthew Talbot Hostel.”

ICC Sydney Director of Culinary Services, Lynell Peck said the service is available for banquets of 200 people or more.

“By creating these Edible Centrepieces, we’re not only giving clients the ability to showcase amazing local produce and support our regional suppliers, but we are also offering them the chance to reduce event waste and deliver meaningful social impact. It’s incredibly rewarding and represents a true win for all involved.”