New ICC Sydney initiative feeds those in need

International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) has unveiled 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.

Edible Centrepieces allow clients to replace floral arrangements with table centrepieces created from seasonal fruits, vegetables and herbs, sourced from the venue’s 129 state-based network of suppliers. Post-event, the ICC Sydney Culinary Services team uses the produce to donate nutritious meals to the Matthew Talbot Hostel, which has been caring for men experiencing homelessness for more than 80 years.

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

“Over the past year, we have already diverted 485 tonnes of organic food waste and donated more than 2840kg of food to the Matthew Talbot Hostel,” he said.

“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.”

Mark Purchase, Vinnies acting accommodation manager at the Matthew Talbot Hostel, said ICC Sydney is more than a venue.

“It’s an organisation which makes a huge difference to the community,” he said. “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.”

Lynell Peck, ICC Sydney director of culinary services, 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, we are offering them the chance to reduce event waste and deliver meaningful social impact,” she said. “It’s incredibly rewarding and represents a true win for all involved.”