New report shows the importance of food relief
A new report has highlighted the important role that governments, community organisations and business play in providing critical food relief to vulnerable Australians.
The Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, and the Minister for Community Services, Julie Collins, today launched Foodbank Australia’s first End Hunger report, which looks at food insecurity in Australia.
The report outlines the findings of a survey of the 2,500 welfare agencies who partner with Foodbank to provide vital food donations to individuals and families in need across the country.
Ms Macklin said the report provided valuable information on the work food relief agencies were doing to support people in need.
“The report shows a growing demand for food, particularly for staples such as milk, bread and fruits and vegetables,” Ms Macklin said.
“Providing a hot meal or a food parcel is often the first step towards providing vulnerable people with extra services such financial counselling and family support programs.
“We understand how important emergency relief services are, which is why the Gillard Government has nearly doubled funding in this area.
“Almost $60 million is going to nearly 700 community organisations, including Foodbank, this year, to help them deliver these important services.”
Foodbank is the largest hunger relief charity in Australia, sourcing and distributing food donations to 2,500 welfare agencies across the country. It has distribution centres in all state capitals, the Northern Territory and eight regional centres.
Ms Collins said Foodbank’s partnerships with government, community organisations and industry were delivering strong results.
“Last year Foodbank provided 24 million kilograms of food – the equivalent of about 88,000 meals a day – to welfare agencies, up from 5 million kilograms in 2003-04,” Ms Collins said.
“The Government is investing about $4.3 million in Foodbank Australia over four years for its Collaborative Supply Program.
“This includes $300,000 for Foodbank’s UHT milk program, which will distribute one million litres of milk a year to help vulnerable families and children. “This is building on their successful program to provide 10,000 serves of fresh milk every day of the year to people in need.
“We are also increasing payments to low and middle income families to help them make ends meet, and delivering extra assistance like the Schoolkids Bonus,” Ms Collins said.
“The Government is proud to be working in partnership with Foodbank to help make sure vulnerable people can have food on their table each night,” Ms Macklin said.
“Our secure and ongoing investment in frontline community organisations will ensure they can continue their good work helping people in need.”