Foodbank reinvents food donations: collaborative supply

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 24th August 2010

Australian charity Foodbank today hosted a gala lunch at the Salvation Army in Surry Hills, Sydney, to launch the national distribution of 800 tonnes of pasta and 100,000 cans of pasta sauce, produced for Foodbank under a new food donation model: the collaborative supply program.

Under the Foodbank collaborative supply program, manufacturers agree to produce a product, subject to the donations of all inputs (e.g. ingredients and packaging) with the manufacturer’s regular suppliers. Input suppliers are approached and agreement reached on the donation of their respective product components. Items that cannot be donated are funded by Foodbank.

Foodbank CEO John Webster said that Foodbank was aiming to close the gap between donations and demand with the collaborative supply program, through the donation of goods and services from partners.

“The production of the 800 tonnes of pasta and the 100,000 cans of pasta sauce demonstrates how strong collaboration between the private sector and government can benefit the community. Homelessness, financial hardship and unemployment are just a few factors that can lead to the struggle to afford food; which affects the elderly, single-parent families, students, asylum seekers, the working poor and children. Foodbank aims to make a positive difference to those affected by hunger by providing a nourishing bowl of pasta and sauce,” he said.

To make the pasta and pasta sauce, Foodbank called on its partners to donate ingredients and services under the leadership of Rinoldi for the pasta and Simplot Australia for the pasta sauce.

Other Foodbank donors involved in the production of the pasta and sauce included: Impress Australasia, Costa Exchange, Monaghan Fresh Produce, Manildra, George Weston Foods, CBH Group, National Starch, International Flavors and Fragrances Inc, Givaudan Australia, Scalzo Food Industries, Labelmakers Group, Amcor, Visy, Perfection Packaging, Shorko and Toll Express with funding support from the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, ANZ Bank, Microsoft and CSL.

Lunch – spaghetti bolognese – was served at the Surry Hills Salvation Army today by the NSW Minister for Housing, Mr Frank Terenzini MP, John Webster, CEO of Foodbank Australia, Gerry Andersen, GM Foodbank NSW and various donor partners involved in the production of the pasta and sauce.

“Welfare agencies are seeing an increasing number of people come through their doors and consequently they are under greater pressure to meet demand. Pasta and sauce are two key staple items that will help agencies provide more Australians with a hearty and nutritious meal,” said Terenzini.

The 800 tonnes of pasta and 100,000 cans of pasta sauce will feed as many as 2 million hungry Australians, and are being distributed to welfare agencies throughout the country by Foodbank’s state distribution centres.

On a national scale, Foodbank is relied on by 2,200 welfare agencies to feed two million Australians facing hunger.  Other key staples are currently being produced within Foodbank’s collaborative supply program.