Ronni Kahn is the Founder and CEO of OzHarvest – an organisation that rescues excess good food, that would otherwise be discarded, and redistributes it at no cost to charities. After more than 20 years in the hospitality industry running an event management company, Ronni felt it was time to make a change – she wanted to live a purposeful life – a life that made a significant contribution to society, supported those in need, and helped to protect our precious environment.
After working closely with the hospitality industry for many years Ronni was aware of the large quantity of good food going to waste. She believed there was an opportunity to capture that food and give it away at no cost to charities supporting men, women and children across Australia. After extensive research into other food rescue organisations worldwide, and with the assistance of likeminded friends and colleagues, a model for OzHarvest was developed and Ronni sought seed funding. OzHarvest officially began operations with one van in Sydney in November 2004.
Today OzHarvest collects and redistributes more than five million meals a year to more than 410 charities across Adelaide, Brisbane, Newcastle and Sydney. Since inception more than 15 million meals have been distributed and more that five million tonnes of waste diverted from landfill.
Ronni has been awarded numerous awards over the years including, Australia’s Local Hero, Australian of the Year Awards 2010, and in 2012 Ronni was nominated for the AFR’s 100 Most Influential Women in Australia.
Ronni was born and schooled in South Africa. She went to university in Israel where she received a BA in Fine Arts and English. Ronni lived on a kibbutz for 10 years and the city of Haifa for eight years, before emigrating to Australia in 1988 with her family. Ronni is married to Irving Wallach and has two sons, Nadav and Edo, and a stepdaughter Miriam.