Yesterday in Parliament House Canberra, Foodbank recognised the outstanding contributions of Australian food companies in helping to fight hunger in the community.
This year’s awards celebrated what Foodbank and the food industry are able to accomplish together and acknowledged the outstanding individual contributions that make possible the everyday work of the largest food relief organisation in the country.
The awards were presented at the Australian Food and Grocery Council Industry Leaders Forum by Senator Zed Seselja, Assistant Minister for Social Services and Multicultural Affairs, to organisations that helped to raise the awareness of food insecurity, provide more key staple products and build the infrastructure required to get the food to where it is needed.
The first award, for distinguished service in fighting hunger, went to the Australian fresh produce industry for doubling donations of fresh fruits and vegetables in the last five years in spite of difficult times including industry volatility, adverse weather events and a tough economic environment.
The second award went to the Flight Centre Foundation for conspicuous gallantry in supporting the Foodbank Key Staples Program. Coupled with matching funds from the Foundation itself, the staff of the Flight Centre group of companies have rallied to donate enough money to fund the entire long life milk program ensuring sustainability of supply of this vital product. Always enthusiastic to help wherever they can, Flight Centre employees also do additional fundraising and hold food drives to assist in times of emergency. In addition to volunteering in the warehouse, they pack hampers and participate in food drive challenges.
The award for outstanding contribution through infrastructure support went to Lotterywest for being an outstanding partner to Foodbank Western Australia since 1994. Over the last five years Lotterywest has provided support for three major infrastructure projects for FBWA – new warehouses at Kalgoorlie and Geraldton, as well as the new state-of-art facility at Foodbank Perth. All in all this represents a commitment of over $10 million by Lotterywest.
Finally, the Foodbank Rookie of the Year went to two recipients – Thomas Foods International and Fletcher International Exports. These two companies have helped Foodbank gain access to more vital protein by increasing the Foodbank meat program threefold. From the beginning of this year they’ve committed to providing lamb trim which has been turned into 800,000 sausages.