Tasmania one step closer to Foodbank

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 7th June 2010

The planned Tasmanian Foodbank has received its license from the national body, bringing the charity one step closer to commencing operations in the state.

The Foodbank Tasmanian office is set to open at the former Chickenfeed distribution centre at Cambridge, near Hobart, with the aim of providing up to 66,000 Tasmanians with food support donated by supermarket chains, retailers, manufacturers, producers and growers. The site itself is also a donation, with a 10-year lease on the centre given to Foodbank by philanthropist Jan Cameron of Retail Adventures.

With the opening of the Tasmanian operation, Foodbank Australia will be providing food assistance in every state. More than two million Australians, including one million children, rely on food relief each year.

The Tasmanian State Government has previously committed $800 000 over four years to the establishment of the organisation in Tasmania.

Chairman of Foodbank Tasmania Michael Kent said Foodbank Tasmania’s aim was to provide nutritious meals to Tasmanian families when they could not afford to purchase food.

“The opening of Foodbank Tasmania will mean that fewer Tasmanians will go hungry throughout the year,” Mr Kent said.

The 2001 census found that Tasmanian families had the lowest average weekly income compared to those of other states, and according to the Department of Health and Human Services, a lack of money is the main cause of hunger in Tasmania, resulting in more than 6000 people going without meals in the past 12 months. In times of hardship, food is often compromised to pay household bills.

The opportunity is now available for food retailers, processors and primary producers in Tasmania to donate food. Foodbank will accept all food that is fit for consumption – surplus to commercial demand, slow moving, short dated or unable to be sold.