Foodbank secures pasta sauce deal for the welfare sector

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 12th March 2013

Donated ingredients and packaging from 20 companies has been used to make 250,000 jars of pasta sauce for distribution to charities across Australia. The jars will provide one million serves, and represent a retail value of $745,000.

The companies involved in the collaborative supply program are: Simplot, MSM Milling, Manildra Group, Kagome, CV Garlic, IFF, National Starch, Cheetham Salt, Abaris Printing, Amcor Fibre, O-I, Jet/Crown, Amcor Flexibles, Amcor Cartons, Matthews, Too and Sodexo.

Australian food manufacturer Simplot co-ordinated the pasta sauce project by bringing together ten ingredient suppliers, seven packaging providers, a transport company and a corporate funder. Many of these partners have been involved since the program’s inception four years ago.

The pasta sauce initiative is a Foodbank supply program. Foodbank Australia is the country’s largest food relief organisation and last year received and distributed enough food for 32 million meals to more than 2,500 welfare agencies.

MSM Milling, a grain milling company based in the rural NSW town of Manildra, donated thousands of kilograms of canola oil for the pasta sauce. The Manildra Group, which is a joint venture partner in MSM Milling, donated sugar to the venture. The Manildra Group is a group of companies that produce flour, modified starches, glucose syrups, gluten, specialty protein products and ethanol.

“We want the hard working welfare agencies to be able to rely on us for all the key essentials they need to provide balanced and nutritious meals to people seeking assistance. Along with pasta, this sauce provides a simple and healthy meal that meets that criteria,” said Greg Warren, General Manager of Foodbank Australia.

“This program is a great example of what can be achieved and how the load can be spread across the entire supply chain when food industry comes together to tackle the problem of hunger,” he said.

“Every year 680,000 people in NSW and the ACT experience food insecurity. Fifty per cent are children. Foodbank is the ‘pantry of the welfare sector’. Without the support of Australian food and drink manufacturers, many of these people would really struggle,” said Tony Gatt, Foodbank’s NSW Business Development Manager.

MSM Milling’s Director, Bob Mac Smith, says the company felt compelled to donate locally grown and processed canola oil to support the pasta sauce initiative.

“We’re honoured to be in a position to give to such a worthwhile cause. Not only is it a good corporate donation, it’s great and very humbling to know you’re making such a difference to the lives of many thousands of people, especially children, who’d otherwise go hungry. MSM Milling wholeheartedly supports Foodbank and is proud to partner with such a wonderful, selfless and supportive organisation,” said Mac Smith.

The pasta sauce will be given to local charity organisations in Orange, NSW. Australian Food News reported last month that Foodbank had received donations of bread and milk from Australian food manufacturers.