IGA donates $1.5m in food vouchers to assist bushfire victims
IGA’s ongoing Community Chest program will provide $1.5 million dollars in food vouchers to assist in the Victoria Bushfire Disaster Relief efforts.
The 1270 IGA stores nationwide, as well as Metcash (IGA retailers primary supplier), will collectively provide the vouchers via IGA’s Community Chest program to the Salvation Army. A further $100,000 has been donated by Ritchies Community Benefits Program.
“Every IGA across Australia is an active part of the local community and as a collective ‘family’, our 1270 retailers sincerely feel the pain, suffering and devastation of the people in fire stricken Victoria. IGA’s Community Chest program assists local communities 365 days of the year and we are proud to make this significant contribution,” IGA National Chairman, Michael Daly, said. “Because our Community Chest maintains an Emergency Relief Fund we can immediately begin to help those impacted by the fires but the vouchers will not perish and can be of use for many weeks and months to come.”
Salvation Army Communications Director, Major Brad Halsey, advised that the vouchers would be a great help to those affected by the tragedy. “This extraordinarily generous donation, the largest we have received to date through this appeal, will go along way to assisting families and individuals who have been devastated by bushfire,” he reported. “We are very grateful for the national support from IGA.”
During the crisis, a number of IGA stores have also been acting as community centres – with more than 500 people having camped out at IGA Yarra Glen this week. Where possible, those affected by the fires have been provided with food from their local store.
“We understand they will have a long road ahead to rebuild their lives but want to do our bit to help in the interim – vouchers will help ensure those affected have food to sustain their family over the coming months,” Mr Daly added.
During the past week IGA Victoria has also supported the CFA efforts with food and more than 10 pallets of energy drinks supplied to the front line. “These guys are true local heroes. Their efforts are saving lives and people’s precious possessions. We want to ensure they have all the energy required for the task,” Mr Daly explained. “In acknowledgement of the huge recovery task ahead IGA will continue to look for ways in which the organisation can help rebuild the communities in which it operates.”