Ethical eating is taking off in Wollongong with Wasted Wednesday community dinners being held every two weeks.
Hidden Harvest founder Berbel Franse said the idea was born four years ago when she returned from Africa and realised how much food was being wasted in Australia.
"Together with a friend we decided to have a one off dinner. It was a bit of a fine dining experience as well from one of the chefs from the Three Blue Ducks in Sydney," she said.
"We put on a dinner for 35 people at the Thirroul Railway Institute after putting a call out for food that would have normally gone to waste".
Mr Franse said it was originally planned to be a one off event but it was such a hit and the conversations generated were so productive it was decided to keep going.
"We are still working on the same concept of actually bringing food that would otherwise go to waste to the table," she said.
"Over the years we have formed relationships with a number of wholesalers, grocery stores, bakeries and farms. If they ever end up with a surplus of food they are not able to sell that is what we pick up".
Ms Franse said Hidden Harvest has been at the present Society City venue at 274 Crown Street for five months. She said that was good because people know that is where they can deliver good food that might otherwise go to waste.
Ms Franse said people in Wollongong were very responsive.
So much so there is always a queue at the door of people wanting to get in early so they didn't miss out.
Hidden Harvest moved into its present venue as part of the Renew Wollongong initiative. As a volunteer run organisation it is reliant on keeping costs to a minimum.
Ms Franse is excited that Caveau has offered to host a dinner in Keira Street towards the end of the year.
She said not only is it a larger venue it is also likely to attract people who have never been to a Hidden Harvest Wasted Wednesday evening before.
"It was really exciting to see how Tom Chiumento and Simon Evans took to the challenge last week and what they actually did with the food," she said.
"In Australia consumers are actually responsible for a big part of the food waste generated across the food supply chain.
"Three groups are identified as the biggest wasters of food. They are young adults between 18 and 34, then we have young families and high income earners.
"We are evolving and improving all the time and looking at increasing the educational opportunities.
"Last week we trialed a Wasted Wednesday quiz with questions to encourage conversations on the tables about food waste. After that we had questions for the chef. It was really nice to open up that channel".