The year was 1992: Paul Keating was Australia’s Prime Minister, Boys II Men’s End of the Road was playing incessantly on the radio, summer Olympics were being celebrated in Barcelona, and Foodbank first started sourcing food for distribution to charities with one purpose – to feed hungry Australians.
Fast forward to February 2019 and Foodbank has just surpassed 600 million meals for vulnerable Australians.
To put this into context, in 1992 Foodbank provided almost 200,000 meals for the entire year. Now in 2019, Foodbank provides the same number in a single day, providing food relief to more than 710,000 people a month who are in crisis, dealing with the anguish and despair of not knowing where the next meal is coming from for themselves and their families.
Foodbank Australia CEO, Brianna Casey, today visited Parramatta Mission, one of the 2,600 charity agencies Foodbank provides relief to, helping serve lunch to just some in the local community affected by food insecurity.
“We are so fortunate to have a national network of charities like Parramatta Mission, to help us get essential food and groceries to some of the most vulnerable in our communities.
“This is a milestone we never wanted to hit. Whilst I am incredibly proud of the efforts of the entire Foodbank family, our charity network, our food and grocery donors and our partners right across the country in helping us provide the equivalent of 600 million meals, this is a bittersweet moment. It is evidence of the scale of the hunger problem we have here in Australia, and the growing need for food relief.
Foodbank works with the entire food and grocery supply chain, rescuing ‘perfectly imperfect’ fresh fruit and vegetables; sourcing – and even manufacturing – the everyday essentials every family should have available in their pantries year round; and helping fill the tummies of children who would otherwise go to school hungry.
“With 4 million Australians suffering from food poverty at some point in the last 12 months, and charities reporting increased demand for food relief across a range of demographics, something has to give. We need urgent action on what has become a systemic problem in Australia, and in the lead-up to the election, all sides of politics can expect to hear more from Foodbank on this issue.” Said Ms Casey.