Foodbank Australia has been announced as a 2020 CommBank Bushfire Recovery Grant recipient.
Like many small businesses across the country, Australia’s first social enterprise bakery, The Bread & Butter Project, has felt the impacts of COVID-19 with café and restaurant and product distribution disruptions.
Normally operating as a wholesale bakery, which uses 100 per cent of its profits to support training and employment opportunities for refugees and asylum seekers in Sydney, the business identified a need to expand beyond supplying cafés and workplaces, many of which are currently closed.
The Bread & Butter Project has undertaken a complete pivot in its business model to now supply to Woolworths Metro food stores directly to ensure it can keep its doors open and continue providing high-quality sourdough breads and pastries over the coming months.
“In the second half of March, our café and restaurant sales fell by more than half – as the impact of COVID-19 on the hospitality industry hit hard,” said The Bread & Butter Project chairperson Cindy Carpenter.
“While we will continue to supply all our valued partners as soon as the current social distancing restrictions are lifted, we’ve also had to make some quick decisions to ensure our business remains operational in the meantime.
“As such, within two weeks we’ve shifted from being a largely wholesale enterprise to becoming much more consumer-facing via online retailers and supermarkets.
“We’re very thankful for the backing of Woolworths, who have an interest in refugee employment and responded to our need for more sales by instantly stocking us in 14 of their Metro stores.
“They’ve also worked extremely hard on our behalf to provide us with a good shelf presence, because we aren’t a well-known consumer brand as yet.”
“We understand how crucial our support is to help local businesses such as The Bread & Butter Project to keep up and running at this time,” said Woolworths Metro general manager, Justin Nolan.
“We are delighted to be able to work so quickly in getting their delicious breads and pastries onto our shelves. It’s a win-win for us – our customers love the baked goods and we’re also doing our bit to help support the important work they are doing in Australia.”
Carpenter said a number of new initiatives have also been implemented by The Bread & Butter Project to support this shift.
“This transition has meant making smaller loaves that are suitable for retail sales, while we are currently in the process of moving to retail-friendly packaging and having retail shelf displays made.
“In addition, we are increasing our in-store merchandising to ensure a strong shelf presence and adding ‘shelf talkers’ that tell our social enterprise story, while seeking to build better brand awareness because we can’t afford to advertise.”
Another vital outcome of keeping The Bread & Butter Project bakery open is its role in maintaining a much-needed income for its trainees, said Carpenter.
“Our trainees have often come to us from environments of political and social upheaval and when they arrive in Australia, many of them aren’t able to use their existing skills and experience in this country,” she said. “This is where The Bread & Butter Project plays a role in providing an income and a purpose, as well as crucial English language tuition and support.
“By keeping our doors open, we are keeping people employed who may be on Temporary Protection Visas or other visas, and who are not eligible for the government’s JobKeeper support program and would struggle to find alternative work in the current circumstances.”
At present, bread and pastry sales fund about 90 per cent of The Bread & Butter Project’s training and operational costs, with donations funding the remaining 10%, while volunteers and pro bono assistance also help the company achieve its goals. The Bread & Butter Project’s program sees trainees receive hands-on training in the company’s Marrickville bakery and a TAFE Certificate II in Food Processing, as well as intensive tutoring in English and numeracy. The program has graduated more than 70 professional artisan bakers into employment in Australia’s hospitality industry. id McGuinness, decided to use their baking expertise and community spirit to set up a social enterprise bakery to empower the least privileged in our community. Their vision was that Bourke Street Bakery would gift its time, baking and hospitality expertise to establish a wholesale bakery where 100% of the profits would go towards training and employment opportunities for refugees and asylum seekers in Sydney. The end result was The Bread & Butter Project.
Food charity FareShare is in the process of building Australia’s largest charity kitchen in Brisbane with the help of Wiley.
The facility is being designed and built by Wiley at cost with the capacity to cook five million meals a year.
In October 2018, Fareshare will open the state of the art, production kitchen in Morningside, Brisbane, with the aim to cook 1.25 million meals in the first year of operation.
FareShare rescues food that would otherwise go to waste and cooks it into free, nutritious meals for people in crisis. Its vision is to have a society where food is not wasted and no one goes hungry.
Wiley managing director, Tom Wiley, said the company loved working with the FareShare team as their mission and vision aligned so closely to Wiley’s values.
“FareShare partner with Food Bank who we also support, so it made sense to do what we could to help FareShare get on their feet and feeding our community as soon and they could. I’m looking forward to getting my hands dirty in the kitchen come October,” said Wiley.
FareShare is duplicating its unique capability to cook rescued food at scale from Melbourne to Queensland where surplus food is available and community need is acute.
Wiley project manager, Lauren Ellis, said the company had been involved right from the start, assisting with site selection and sourcing suppliers who would best work with the charity.
“Many of our suppliers have also chipped in offering their services at a greatly discounted rate and we are very grateful for their support,” she said.
FareShare’s Queensland general manager Kellie Watson said it was great partnering with a company like Wiley, which had so much experience in the food sector.
“As well as providing their services at cost, Wiley has also brought trades on board with many contributing at cost or with great discounts. As a charity, it’s been critical to keep costs down so this has been a huge help,” she said.
“I’ve really enjoyed Wiley’s flexible and responsive approach,” said Kellie.
The kitchen will be powered by local volunteers and supplied with quality ingredients by Foodbank Queensland. who will also distribute the meals through its existing network of charities.
FareShare is now welcoming registrations from would-be volunteers.
Fifteen leading food brands in Australia are on board to donate an extra one million food items to vulnerable Australians this July through the Shop & Share campaign.
“Our target of one million food products – more than 10 million serves – is ambitious, but we are confident that Australians will get behind this very important cause,” said Foodbank CEO Brianna Casey.
“This campaign makes it easy for everyday Australians to support Foodbank. By purchasing a product from our supporting partners at Woolworths in July, consumers will trigger a food donation to Foodbank, enabling us to distribute more food to Australians struggling to make ends meet this winter.”
Support from Australia’s leading food brands and products
Many long-term supporters of Foodbank are on board for this year’s Shop & Share campaign. Their donations for Shop & Share are in addition to their ongoing commitments to the country’s largest food relief organisation, which distributes more than 35 million kilograms of food and groceries to struggling Australians every year.
This year’s supporters are Ardmona, Chicken Tonight, Continental, Devondale, Helga’s, John West, McCain, Mount Franklin, Old El Paso, Primo, Sanitarium, SPC, SunRice, Woolworths and Vetta. Woolworths is also the exclusive retail partner for the campaign.
Food insecurity: a growing problem in Australia
At some point each year, one in six Australians are in crisis dealing with the anguish of not knowing where the next meal is coming from for themselves and their families.
Foodbank restores hope to people who are struggling by distributing food to 2,600 front line charities around the country. Every month, 644,000 people receive hunger relief from Foodbank agencies, a third of whom are children.
Despite Foodbank’s best efforts, more than 40,000 people are still being turned away from charities empty handed every month due to lack of available food.
Shop & Share makes it easy to make a difference
The donation process is simple. For every purchase of a nominated product from the campaign partners, a food donation will be made to Foodbank.
Customers can help boost donations to Foodbank during July simply by purchasing the participating brands in their weekly shop. Throughout the campaign, family-friendly recipes will be available, providing inspiration for easy to cook, delicious meals featuring the nominated products.
“Without the support of our partners, more Australians would simply go without. The extra donations will make a huge difference to hundreds of thousands who are struggling, including children,” said Ms Casey.
For the last six years, big players in the dairy industry including Murray Goulburn, Parmalat, Fonterra, and Lion Dairy and Drinks, have come together to help Foodbank provide more than 8 million litres of milk to vulnerable Australians experiencing food insecurity.
“Our charity partners regularly inform us that people who are struggling to put food on the table often have to sacrifice dairy products,” said Foodbank Australia CEO, Brianna Casey.
“This makes regular milk donations from the dairy industry vitally important in providing a consistent source of calcium to Australians in need.”
This financial year, the collaboration has produced one million litres of fresh milk for Foodbank’s Milk Program. On top of this, the dairy processors also regularly donate other products from their ranges such as yoghurt and cheese.
To ensure the supply has a wide reach, each partner is responsible for donating fresh milk in specific states and territories. Parmalat provides fresh milk in QLD and the NT, Murray Goulburn in NSW/ACT, Fonterra in Victoria, and Lion Dairy and Drinks in WA, SA and Tasmania
“Our annual Foodbank Hunger Report tells us that rural and regional communities are 11per cent more likely to be food insecure than their metro counterparts,” said Casey.
“In fact, more than a third of the food and groceries distributed through Foodbank’s network of more than 2600 charities goes to country Australia.
“Despite the prevalence of food insecurity in rural and regional areas, these communities are also some of our most generous in terms of donations of milk, fresh produce, eggs, and meat, so initiatives like the Foodbank Milk Program means that Australian dairy processors are often helping farmers in quite a unique way.”
The Foodbank Milk Program is one of the food relief organisation’s longest running programs. Within six years of its launch, Foodbank has been able to deliver more than 8.6 million litres of milk to Australians in need.
“The countless meaningful contributions and extraordinary community spirit shown by our milk partners, even during tough times for the industry, has ensured Foodbank can provide one of the core ingredients of a well-balanced diet to vulnerable Australians,” said Casey.
Australia’s top food brands – Ardmona, Devondale, John West, Chicken Tonight, Old El Paso, Vetta, McCain Foods Australia, Helga’s, SunRice, SPC, Primo, Mount Franklin, Continental, Sanitarium and Woolworths – have signed up to support the annual Foodbank campaign, with consumers triggering a one-for-one donation each time they purchase participating brand products at Woolworths stores during July.
Now in its third year, the campaign has been re-named Shop & Share and includes an even larger range of products, covering most staple categories throughout the store, helping to raise vital food for people in need. Woolworths has signed on as the exclusive retail partner for the project which last year raised 13 million meals for Australians in need.
At some point each year two million Australians are in crisis, not knowing where their next meal is coming from. Foodbank is the largest food relief organisation in Australia, providing food for over 172,000 meals a day to assist these vulnerable people, a third of whom are children.
Foodbank Australia’s CEO Brianna Casey, said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the support from the brands participating in the campaign. They are already generous supporters of Foodbank and by taking part in Shop & Share we are able to ask consumers to support the brands that support us.”
David Jones has announced a collaboration with the Byron Bay Cookie Company, launching a bespoke charity cookie as part of its national fundraising campaign for the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation (ALNF).
The Choc Chunk Charity Cookie is being sold at every David Jones point-of-sale until the 29th of May, $2 from the purchase of each cookie goes directly to ALNF to fund an Indigenous literacy program in Forster, New South Wales.
During the campaign, David Jones will also donate 10% of each book purchase to ALNF from 22nd to 29th May, and will accept direct donations from customers at any of their stores. All funds raised will go directly to ALNF to support the implementation one of their life- changing literacy programs at a disadvantaged preschool and long day care centre servicing the Indigenous community of Forster, NSW.
Commenting on the partnership, Bill Quayle, one of the owners of the Byron Bay Cookie Company said: “Every child has the right to learn to read and write. We hope that our partnership with David Jones will enable ALNF to carry out more work critical to addressing the literacy issues that affect these children. We encourage everyone to get behind this great cause, something as simple as a $3 cookie can change the lives of many.”
David Jones Ambassador Adam Goodes, who recently visited a preschool that has benefited from an ALNF Literacy Programs in Taree, said: “ALNF’s Literacy Programs are so important for the future education of these communities. ALNF creates positive systemic change by empowering in the adults in the community to help their own children, and those that follow. The partnership between David Jones and ALNF not only helps highlight the issue, but more importantly provides much needed funds to assist with the solution that ALNF provides.”
Melbourne-based fruit and milk delivery company, The Fruit Box has unveiled a plan to deliver weekly boxes of fresh food basics to a thousand disadvantaged Australian families.
Called ‘The One Box’, this program will launch this month. According to the Australian Institute of Family Studies, around five per cent% of Australians experience food insecurity and healthy food habits are especially financially challenging for low income families who need to spend a third of their income to eat well.
Under the initiative, The Fruit Box Group will donate 25,000 boxes of fresh fruit, vegetables, milk and bread over the course of 2017. The group is investing up to $400,000 in the pilot program in Melbourne and will assess its impact as it is rolled out, with a view to a national program and a public charity in the future.
“As our business grows, so does our corporate social responsibility,” said The Fruit Box CEO and founder, Martin Halphen (pictured). “In a plentiful country like Australia, it’s shocking that so many families are going without. We believe that one box of fresh produce each week can make a real difference to families in need, hopefully creating a healthy foundation for children now and having a lifetime influence on health.”
The Fruit Box Group has worked closely with local community agencies to identify the initial 1,000 families. Key collaborations with Fareshare for distribution of the boxes and La Trobe Business School – which will collect and analyse impact data over the program’s first 25 weeks – strengthen this innovative CSR program.
“This kind of valuable support from businesses to services like ours gives us greater capacity to offer tangible support to more families,” said Sharee Grinter of West Footscray Neighbourhood House, one of the partner agencies involved.
“With fresh food so expensive it’s often the first to fall off the list when resources are stretched, so a weekly box of good quality nutritious food will have a huge impact on the health and wellbeing of families in need.”
A partnership between Foodbank, the country’s largest food relief organisation, and Simplot Australia along with its suppliers such as Kagome and Amcor, has delivered 4 million meals to people in need.
As part of a six year collaborative supply program to produce essential foods, on the 3rd May the Simplot Echuca factory will celebrate the manufacture of the one millionth jar of pasta sauce for Foodbank.
The program sets the benchmark for food industry partnerships with the cooperation of multiple partners contributing to the success of the program. With Simplot donating its manufacturing facilities and its various suppliers supporting with the ingredients, such as Kagome providing tomatoes and Amcor providing the packaging, Foodbank has been able to provide a reliable supply of pasta sauce to Australians in need. Pasta sauce is a key staple food that forms the basis of a variety of wholesome meals.
Foodbank is Australia’s largest food relief organisation, providing 172,000 meals a day, to over 2,600 charities and 1,750 schools around the country. A third of the support goes to rural and regional areas.
The 2016 Foodbank Hunger Report reveals that 644,000 people receive food assistance every month in Australia, unfortunately it also reveals that 43,000 people are still being turned away by charities due to lack of food. This is why the pasta sauce program, one of the first and most successful industry collaborations, is so important.
“The pasta sauce program is a standout example of what community mindedness and teamwork can achieve. Through the commitment of Simplot, we have a constant and sustainable supply of a product that forms the foundation of a variety of hearty meals. This is crucial as charities rely on us for the food they need for their vital work,” said Foodbank Australia’s CEO.
During the past 12 months, Simplot has provided three production shifts, while the input suppliers have donated the essential ingredients to make the runs a reality.
Image: Simplot Australia
With the help of Australia’s industry and the general public, Foodbank’s annual Food Fight campaign has almost doubled its 2015 result, collecting enough donations for 13 million serves, to feed Australians in need.
Each year Food Fight aims at putting food insecurity front and centre for grocery shoppers, with Foodbank industry partners pledging a food donation for every one of their participating products purchased at Woolworths stores. This year these partners included the iconic brands SPC, Ardmona, Helga’s, Vetta, Devondale, Primo, Weet-Bix, NESCAFÉ, Flora, Continental and Mount Franklin.
Simple but engaging recipes using a collaboration of Food Fight products as well as other content campaign triggers were created by Whisk Media Group (publishers of myfoodbook.com.au), making it easier for consumers to get involved and brands to be recognised. These included cooking videos, recipe cards for brands and an e-cookbook book, ‘Food for Families’, which the public can download via the Foodbank website.
The campaign was brought to life in Woolworths stores via point-of-sale material, in-store radio, product highlights in the store catalogues as well as in Fresh magazine.
The activation was supported by strong above-the-line support in the form of high impact television, radio, print and out-of-home advertising. The media components were donated by Foodbank’s generous advertising and PR partners, Havas Group, Red Agency and Group M.
Foodbank Australia CEO, Brianna Casey, said the support from the organisation’s industry partners and the public was overwhelming.
“It’s reassuring to see how much Australians want to help when they realise the enormity of the issue in our own backyard. Although largely out of sight, hunger is a growing blight on our community, with over two million Australians seeking food relief from charities each year – a third of whom are children,” she said.
The number of serves achieved in this year’s campaign includes:
- Enough Helga’s bread and Flora to make over 1.2 million sandwiches
- Enough Weet-Bix for a million nutritious breakfasts
- Enough Nescafé Blend 43 for 615,000 comforting cups of coffee
- Enough SPC Baked Beans for half a million meals
Foodbank, Australia’s largest hunger relief organisation, will be able to provide 35,000 meals to Australians in need thanks to a donation of $18,900 from the Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) through its social investment program, ‘ADM Cares’. This program directs funds to initiatives and organisations which drive meaningful social, economic and environmental progress worldwide.
This donation will be a valuable contribution towards the Foodbank Key Staples Program, which sources essential food items that don’t come via traditional rescue channels. The program produces 6.8 million serves of breakfast cereal a year through an innovative collaboration between Foodbank and Australian grain growers, bulk handlers, traders, millers and breakfast cereal manufacturers.
The Key Staples Program aims to provide a consistent source of nutritious and balanced meals to food relief recipients. Overall, the program is able to supply 5 million meals to hungry Australians annually.
“Our vision is an Australia without hunger but unfortunately more and more people are seeking food relief as tough times hit,” said Sarah Pennell, General Manager Business Operations with Foodbank Australia. “Without the support of the Australian food industry, and caring companies like ADM, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do. We are very grateful for this contribution to a vital program.”
Tim Henry, ADM Managing Director Australia and New Zealand, said, “As a participant in the grain and food supply chains, ADM is proud to support Foodbank and its Key Staples Program. By providing financial and product support to organisations such as Foodbank, charities around Australia can serve the day’s most important meal to those in need.”
Over 160 members of the Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP), the Australian Packaging and Processing Machinery Association (APPMA), the Supply Chain & Logistics Association of Australia (SCLAA) and the Queensland Supply Chain and Logistics Conference (QSCLC), spent their annual Christmas party for the sixth consecutive year with a twist.
The members spent the day packing a record 1250 hampers, for Foodbank to distribute to those in need at Christmas; many of whom are without employment, families with young children and living on the poverty line.
The 1250 Foodbank Hampers project is a culmination of twelve months of work, over $140,000 worth of goods raised to go inside the hampers and generous support from many companies across the country who assisted with the goods collection.
The 2015 hampers were worth over $120 each and were made up of food and personal hygiene products. This year 350 ladies packs were added with a value of $30,000 and 100 x homeware and kitchen packs, which were donated by Sizzler.
In six years, the AIP, in conjunction with the APPMA, SCLAA, and the QSCLC, have packed 4450 hampers to the value of over $541,000.
A special acknowledgement must go to the APPMA, Blackmores, Collins Food Group, Kimberly Clark, Colgate, OfficeMax, Sizzlers, BDO, Stanwell Corporation, TAE, All Purpose Transport, Linde, Department of Public Housing & Works for going above and beyond this year to help provide goods and funds for the hampers. Without the industry supporting this project it would not be as successful year-on-year.
If you would like to assist with the 2016 project, email firstname.lastname@example.org
More than 13,000 meals were served as part of OzHarvest's ‘Think.Eat.Save’ food waste awareness day in July. The Australian food charity's campaign aims to highlight and raise public awareness of how much food is thrown away each year.
OzHarvest is one of the charities supported by Olympus Australia and staff from the company's offices around Australia volunteered to help at this year's event which was simultaneously held in eight cities and two regional centres across the country. OzHarvest uses donated and surplus food from retailers and restaurants, and invites the public to enjoy a free and delicious hot meal made from the rescued produce while learning about food waste from some of the nation’s top chefs, politicians and celebrities.
“Olympus Australia has made a commitment to OzHarvest which allows us to direct resources to them so that our impact is more significant,” said Oliver Clarke, Communications Manager for Olympus Australia. “Our view is that we are partnered with them for the long term which makes the most effective use of the company and staff's support for activities in the wider community.”
‘Think.Eat.Save’ was launched in July with tri-partisan support at Parliament House in Canberra and the free meals were provided at venues in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra, the Gold Coast, Port Macquarie and the Sapphire Coast. High profile volunteers, such as chefs Neil Perry and Jost Bakker, assisted at functions to take a stance against food waste. Olympus staff helped serve the soup and desserts to lunchtime visitors in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. The Olympus volunteers also helped set up the serving tents and clean up at the end of the day.
Founder and CEO of OzHarvest, Ronni Kahn said "Think.Eat.Save 2015 continues to highlight the disturbing amount of food wasted in Australia and around the world. Of the more than one billion tonnes of food produced for human consumption, approximately one third is wasted."
“Our modern day challenge is to create a sustainable food culture that can be shared by all, where we waste less at all levels of food production and distribution,” Kahn said.
Foodbank, Australia’s largest food relief organisation, is launching its largest ever campaign, Food Fight, to help feed the thousands of Australians that go hungry every day – and those in need are not just who you'd think.
Low-income families are the biggest group seeking food relief. The latest Foodbank Hunger Report shows that 516,000 Australians now rely on food relief from Foodbank’s agencies each month, with over a third of recipients being children.
As food insecurity in Australia continues to worsen, demand for food relief is outpacing supply. Each month over 60,000 of the Australians seeking food relief are unable to be assisted. Over two thirds of agencies supporting low-income families are unable to meet the full demand for food relief.
Food Fight is the result of a partnership between Foodbank and some of Australia’s most iconic household brands including Kellogg's breakfast cereals, Helga’s and Wonder White, SPC baked beans & spaghetti and Ardmona tomatoes, Primo Smallgoods, Moccona and Harris coffees and Vetta Pasta. Throughout the month of August, when a Food Fight product is purchased, a food donation will be made to Foodbank to help fight hunger in Australia.
Jason Hincks, Chief Executive Officer of Foodbank Australia, said, “The Australians going hungry aren’t just on the street, they’re in your street. According to the majority of welfare agencies, low income families, single parent families and the unemployed are most in need of assistance.”
To show your support for the Food Fight campaign, visit your local supermarket and purchase a Food Fight item that includes:
- Kellogg's – All specially marked cereals, including Corn Flakes and Sultana Bran
- SPC Ardmona – SPC Baked Beans range, SPC Spaghetti range & Ardmona Rich and Thick Classic Tinned Tomatoes
- Goodman Fielder – All specially marked loaves of Helga's and Wonder White
- Rinoldi Pasta – Vetta Pasta range
- Primo – Shaved Honey Leg Ham, Thinly Sliced Turkey Breast and Thinly Sliced Hungarian Salami
- DE Master Blenders – Moccona Instant Classic Medium Roast varieties and Harris Espresso Ground Coffee varieties