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Metcash increases support to Foodbank hunger relief

The independent grocery and liquor wholesaler, Metcash, has signed up as a national donor to Foodbank.

As the largest hunger relief organisation in Australia, Foodbank last year collected, and distributed 19 million kilograms of food, to 2,200 welfare agencies across the country – representing 25 million meals.

Foodbank has seen a 20 per cent rise in the number of welfare agencies seeking assistance in NSW over the last 12 months as the effects of Global Financial Crisis continue to be felt.

A recent report on the impact of financial stress in NSW released by the Wesley Mission noted that seven per cent of people are now going without meals to make ends meet.

This scenario is replicated across the country and, despite the generosity of the food industry, donations are falling well short of meeting demand.

Metcash donated about 250,000 kg of food to Foodbank last year, primarily in Queensland.

By signing up as a national donor in all states, Metcash will be able to adopt a more strategic approach to developing and broadening its relationship with Foodbank. The new formal partnership will create the opportunity for Foodbank to be fully integrated into Metcash’s waste management and corporate social responsibility programs.

Chairman of Foodbank Enzo Allara said the increase in support from Metcash meant all major wholesalers and retailers in Australia had committed to providing non-saleable foods to the company’s food distribution program.

Chief Executive of Metcash Andrew Reitzer said: "We are happy to now be signed up as a national donor to Foodbank, after many years of food contributions via Metcash in most state capitals. We hope to support and build both our rural and metropolitan contributions further as we continue to grow together into the future."

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