Foodbank encourages Australians to unite against hunger

Posted by Josette Dunn on 15th October 2010

This Saturday, 16th October marks the 30th annual World Food Day, an initiative of the United Nations. This year’s theme, ‘United against Hunger,’ recognises global efforts in the fight against hunger on an international, national and regional level.John Webster, CEO of Foodbank Australia, the country’s largest hunger relief organisation, is campaigning this World Food Day to raise awareness
about hunger in Australia.

Foodbank acts as a ‘pantry’ for the welfare sector, by collecting donations from food manufacturers, retailers and farmers and distributing them to charities around the country. Collaboration is the driving principle behind Foodbank, which works in partnership with the food industry, corporate sector, governments, welfare agencies and volunteers.

Generous donations from supermarket chains, retailers and manufacturers are the key ingredient behind Foodbank’s ability to help those in need. Last year, 670 companies donated 19 million kilograms of food and groceries.  These were then distributed to 2,200 welfare agencies to create 25 million meals for Australians in need. “An outstanding example of how Australian organisations can unite together to combat hunger,” says Webster.

“It’s important to remember that, while Australia is a well developed nation, we are not immune to food insecurity and hunger if assistance is not available; it exists in every state and territory across the nation.  There are approximately two million Australians who are impacted every year, half of these are children,” adds Webster.

While Foodbank is grateful for the regular contributions from its donors, there is a substantial deficit of essential food items, including breakfast cereals, canned fruit and pasta. Foodbank aims to close this gap with its collaborative supply program, where it calls on its partners to donate ingredients and services to manufacture these key staple food items. Through this program Foodbank is able to acquire the food to feed a family of four for just $1.40.

Foodbank recently manufactured 800 tonnes of pasta and 100,000 cans of pasta sauce with the help of the 20 different partners who donated products, services and financing for the endeavour.

John Webster explains, “So few of us are aware of this hidden social issue of hunger and working together is the only way we’ll be able to make a difference.”

For more details about Foodbank Australia, visit www.foodbank.com.au