Partnership designed to take insecurity out of supply chain

Foodbank Australia’s ongoing partnership with General Mills Australia is rethinking how companies can contribute and take some of the insecurity out of the food donation ‘surprise’ supply chain.

In a model that is unique to Foodbank Australia, General Mills’ Rooty Hill plant in Western Sydney will produce on average 10,000 dedicated meals of Latina Fresh ricotta and spinach agnolotti each month, for the next year, for people in need.

Foodbank Australia chief executive officer, Brianna Casey, said with the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 being felt right across the country, the value of this new partnership is immeasurable.

“With one in five Australians already having faced food insecurity at some point last year, widespread unemployment and an economic recession have hit hard and fast for families everywhere. People are doing it tough right now and it’s partnerships like this Collaborative Supply Program that enable us to plan ahead and make every dollar go further,” she said

“General Mills are taking the proactive step to guarantee access to delicious, nutritious pasta for Australians who are struggling to put food on the table right now and for the year ahead, and we couldn’t be more grateful,” said Casey.

Foodbank Australia’s general manager – national supply chain, Michael Davidson, added, “This model allows us to move beyond important, but unpredictable products diverted from landfill to a constant supply of basic essentials like this premium pasta product from General Mills.

“We’ve seen this model operate to great success with other pantry staples and are excited to see this further extension of our partnership with General Mills come to life.”

“As the only…foodbank globally to be driving a collaborative supply program with food and grocery industry partners, this really sets the standard for other manufacturers and foodbank organisations. It will have a tremendous impact on ensuring we can provide to those in need,” said Davidson.

The program is a collaboration between Foodbank Australia, General Mills and its supply chain. While General Mills donates the time and labour to make the product, suppliers have generously donated the raw ingredients and packaging to dramatically reduce the cost.

General Mills Australia managing director Peter Everett has called on industry peers to engage in similar partnerships to ensure a bigger impact on the community.

“We’ve created a template which people and companies can follow using resources and networks they already have to make an even greater difference,” Everett said.

“It’s taken a huge effort from our staff putting this together and while it’s tough for our suppliers to make this donation due to COVID-19, we think it’s the perfect time to make that difference and be a force for good given the impact it will achieve at this critical time.”

In addition to product donation, General Mills, through its Foundation, provided Foodbank Australia with a charitable grant of over AU$200,000 (US$ 150,000) to help Foodbank respond to the significant increase in community need for food staples due to the pandemic.

With COVID-19 causing new demographic groups to access food relief for the first time, it’s more important than ever to support the community.

Foodbank shows behind-the-scenes process with volunteer program

The Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) has continued its long-standing partnership with Foodbank by introducing a new volunteering day in Victoria, which allows members to find out how the organisation operates.

The first day held in late October and the AIP Foodbank Warehouse Volunteering Program will continue in 2019.

It allows members and their colleagues to work directly with Foodbank Victoria to help the Yarraville Warehouse pick and pack on-line orders and mixed grocery boxes.

The program provides the opportunity to better understand how Foodbank works and is a combination of picking and packing of on-line food orders and packing mixed grocery boxes.

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The on-line orders have been placed by many of the 470 charity partners who look after the thousands of Victorians currently experiencing food insecurity.

The mixed groceries items are donated by school students, community groups, clubs and corporate organisations who run food drives to provide the ingredients for the food boxes.

Their charity partners are able to order these boxes which they then pass on to those families or individuals who need that extra help with grocery items.

The volunteering program provides vital work supporting struggling Victorians.

Members have supported numerous charities across the state by packing their food orders, packing around 1600 boxes of cans and also packing a range of mixed vegetables for Foodbank Victoria.

Together the AIP team packed a 21,459kg – equivalent to about 38,256 meals for the community.

That is the equivalent of feeding a family of four, three meals a day for about nine years.

AIP will continue this program in 2019 and will be announcing new dates shortly and everyone is invited to join.

Australian Institute of Packaging expands its food charity reach into Victoria

For more than eight years, the has Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) been a supporter of Foodbank across Australia through the Queensland hamper program.

It is now pleased to also introduce the Victorian Warehousing Volunteer Program. 

The AIP has spent its Christmas Party every year for the past seven years with a twist.

The members pack Foodbank hampers for people who need some assistance from their community at Christmas time.

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In 2017, more than 150 people packed 1,100 hampers for Foodbank to provide to those in need during the holiday season.

The hampers included 800 family hampers and 300 ladies’ packs. The total valuing more than $73,000 worth of items that were either donated, or the funds raised for, by the Association and the wider industry

Over the last seven years, the team has packed 6,500 hampers to the value of close to $730,000 for people in need and they look forward to packing even more hampers in 2018.

All of industry is invited to donate items or funds to the hampers, or attend and participate at Eagle Farm Racetrack on the 7th of December 2018.

AIP asks for all those in the industry to join its new Warehouse Volunteering Program; either as an individual, with staff and colleagues, or with families.

AIP will work directly with Foodbank Victoria to book in some days where volunteers can visit the Yarraville Warehouse and help pick and pack on-line orders and mixed grocery boxes.

The day will start with a formal introduction on how Foodbank Victoria works and information on their charity partners.

The program will provide volunteers the opportunity to better understand how Foodbank works and will be a combination of picking and packing of on-line food orders and packing mixed grocery boxes.

The on-line orders have been placed by many of the 470 charity partners who look after the thousands of Victorians currently experiencing food insecurity.

The mixed groceries items
are donated by school students, community groups, clubs and corporate organisations who run food drives to provide the ingredients for the food boxes.

Their charity partners are able to order these boxes, which they then pass on to those families or individuals who need that extra help with grocery items.

Each volunteer will have the opportunity to work in both areas.

Shifts would be for four to five hours.

As a part of its commitment to the National Food Waste Strategy and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 12:3, AIP
is focused on providing long-term education and training on the role of packaging in minimising food waste, save food packaging, sustainable packaging and lifecycle analysis.

AIP also has a representative on the Department of the Environment and Energy National Food Waste Steering Committee and is a contributor of the Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre.