Ronni Kahn


Meet the woman behind one of the largest food rescue operations in the world:  Ronni Kahn. I am in awe of this lady as it is proof that ‘the power of one’ is a reality. Ronni Kahn is working daily at a big problem in our world where on one side we throw it away when others are in great need of it.

In only 14 years, Ronni Kahn has taken OzHarvest from a small Sydney charity to an international organisation across five continents, and she shows no signs of slowing down soon. A new documentary, Food Fighter, follows her crusade against food waste. #WorldEnvironmentDay

Now 65 years of age, Australian social entrepreneur and founder of OzHarvest, Ronni Kahn has, many a time. “Food waste, I think, is an appalling violation,” she says. “So much energy, fuel, water and labour goes into producing food. Yet we know that two billion people suffer from food insecurity globally.”

Kahn explains that food waste ends up in landfill, harming the environment by creating greenhouse gas emissions. “It’s inhumane and a huge violation to be throwing away perfectly good food,” she says. 


It’s Kahn’s holistic take of the problem of food waste that has seen OzHarvest grow from being a small Aussie charity to an international organisation in the 14 years since its creation. International arms of OzHarvest are now operational in New Zealand, South Africa and the UK while the Australian non-profit also partners with food rescue organisations in Peru and Italy.

My universal truth is that every single person, it doesn’t matter what country they come from, at some point in their life has been told ‘eat your food because there is someone hungry somewhere. I didn’t have to teach anybody that. That’s been the beauty [behind people’s acceptance] of OzHarvest.”

Kahn’s unique dogged character and meaningful work at OzHarvest has led to the creation of a new documentary, Food Fighter, screening as part of the Human Rights Film Festival on May 30 in Canberra. The feature-length documentary, filmed over two years and across four continents, will officially premiere at Sydney


Through the film, viewers witness Kahn’s food waste crusade as she partners with the United Nations in Bangkok, rubs shoulders with British royalty and Jamie Oliver’s juggernaut in London, and holds governments to account in Australia.

“The film was originally supposed to be a film about food waste in Australia with Ronni as its key protagonist,” says director of Food Fighter, Dan Goldberg from Mint Pictures. “But in the end, although it was a film about food waste, it became a character study into what type of person it takes to effect such change on a global level.”

Goldberg sums up Kahn’s inspirational character with a description of her included in the film: “she simply will not be defeated”. “That drives a lot of people crazy but it also gets things done,” he says. “Ronni will call up the prime minister in the same way she would go up to someone on the street. She is a crusader. If she wasn’t Jewish, I’d call her an evangelist.”

Goldberg, who is also of a Jewish background, explains the natural synergy between Judaism and food in an attempt to describe Kahn’s activism.

“We have a big problem. We need to solve it and until we get there, my work is still cut out for me.”


“Food in our culture is very poignant because of the 2,000 years of persecution where food was not abundant. But we now live in an age of abundance. So food is a blessing. But when you see people without it, it’s difficult to be a bystander.”

Kahn agrees that although she’s accomplished a lot, her food waste mission is far from over.

“I didn’t start Ozharvest [with an aim to grow it] to be the biggest food rescue organisation in the world,” Kahn says. “I thought ‘I will just do this for a bit until I fix the problem.’ I didn’t realise the scale of the problem when I started.

“We have a big problem. We need to solve it and until we get there, my work is still cut out for me.”