Foodbank, the country’s largest hunger relief organisation, has played a pivotal role in aiding Australians impacted by nature’s wrath this summer thanks to the support of the country’s leading food and grocery brands.
The Bureau of Meteorology confirmed that 2014 was Australia’s third-warmest year since national records began in 1910, resulting in an increase in severity of natural disasters such as cyclones, bushfires and floods. Already this year, Cyclone Lam, Cyclone Marcia and the bushfires in South Australia, have forced thousands of Australians to rely on food relief services both in the initial aftermath of the crisis and while rebuilding their lives. Foodbank is aware from long experience that its service will be called on for many months after a disaster occurs, as communities take time to recover.
Thanks to support from well-known food companies such as Unilever, Nestlé, Parmalat, Lion and SPC Ardmona, Foodbank was able to assist local communities impacted by these disasters, getting vital supplies to the front line charities providing emergency relief. Items provided included cereal, milk, muesli bars, instant noodles, coffee and tea supplies. In addition companies such as Kimberly-Clark and Johnson & Johnson came through with essential items such as nappies and toilet paper.
Jason Hincks, Chief Executive Officer, Foodbank says, “Foodbank is able to react quickly in the wake of cyclones, bushfires and the other extreme weather events that are such a violent feature of Australian life. Over the first three months of the year, we’ve responded wherever we’ve been needed and the food industry has been right there with us answering our call for additional supplies.”
Gary Dawson, CEO, Australian Food and Grocery Council says, “It’s great to see so many well known brands coming together and using Foodbank to act as a critical conduit between the food and grocery industries’ desire to help and the emergency relief sector’s need during times of crisis. It’s hard to imagine another organisation like Foodbank that would have the scope and scale to achieve something like this across such a wide area.”
Not only does the food industry step up in times of crisis, it has also worked hard to sustain food donations throughout the year. In 2014, for the first time, Foodbank’s partners contributed more than 30 million kilos of food, with December being Foodbank’s biggest month ever for rescue volumes at over two and a half million kilograms. Some of the products which increased in 2014 included fresh fruit and vegetables, bread, eggs, soup, pasta and noodles. In total Foodbank was able to distribute enough food for 40 million meals or 110,000 meals a day.
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