Media Release by The Hon Julie Collins MP

Funding boost to Foodbank Australia

Continued funding from the Gillard Government to Foodbank Australia will help provide food and grocery supplies to more than 2,500 community organisations that support vulnerable and disadvantaged Australians.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Community Services, Julie Collins, said today that the investment of $4 million over four years to Foodbank Australia is part of an $83.3 million funding boost over four years for emergency relief services announced in the 2011-12 Budget.

These funds are in addition to the $2.24 millionprovided by the Gillard Government to Foodbank during the Global Financial Crisis.

“The Gillard Government is committed to helping Australians in need,” Ms Collins said.

“This funding for Foodbank will allow it to secure food and grocery supplies for distribution to community organisations, including emergency relief services that help families and individuals in need.

“For every $1 invested by the Gillard Government, Foodbank works with businesses to manufacture $7 worth of food.

Foodbank works collaboratively with food producers, manufacturers and suppliers to provide a more consistent, cost-effective supply to emergency relief organisations.

A not-for-profit, non-denominational organisation, Foodbank is the largest hunger relief organisation in Australia with distribution centres in seven states and territories.

In 2009-10 Foodbank provided 19 million tonnes of food and groceries to emergency relief providers, which provided 25 million meals to Australians in need from the Foodbank pantry.

Speaking at Foodbank Tasmania’s distribution centre in Hobart, Ms Collins said the Gillard Government has offered a three-year funding agreement to provide certainty into the future.

“In Tasmania food and groceries are distributed to community organisations like Colony 47, Anglicare, Unitingcare, Hobart Women’s Shelter and the Hobart City Mission.

“This investment for Tasmania means that more than 56,000 meals can be prepared providing 56,000 opportunities for community organisations to engage with clients.

“The Gillard Government’s investment in Foodbank over the past two years has helped it to establish a distribution centre here in Tasmania.”

The Gillard Government recognises that we have a patchwork economy. That is why it is critical to make room in a responsible Budget to support the most disadvantaged in our community.