Foodbank sees record food relief in 2020

4th February 2021 | Eativity editors

Thanks for your support: Foodbank has revealed that it sourced a record amount of food and groceries in 2020 to meet the higher demand for food relief due to COVID-19.

Last year, Foodbank obtained 48.8 million kilos of food and groceries via both donations from the food and grocery sector and the purchase of key staple items, thanks to funding from the Federal Government, corporate Australia and individuals. This record volume equates to 87.9 million meals – an increase of nearly 15 percent on 2019, enabling Foodbank to generate a social return on its activities worth more than $1 billion.

Foodbank distributes food relief to thousands of charities and schools.

COVID-19 continues to have a devastating impact on many Australians, temporary residents and international students. In March 2020, when the pandemic hit, Foodbank was forced to upscale fast to meet the immediate demand for food relief. Charities reported demand for food relief increased by an average of 47 percent throughout the year as businesses closed and jobs were lost. The Foodbank Hunger Report 2020 revealed more than a quarter of those experiencing food insecurity due the pandemic had never faced it before.

Foodbank Australia CEO Brianna Casey says it’s been an incredibly demanding period, and the organisation could not have met the urgent need without such significant support.

“We are so grateful to our very generous donors and partners, who continue to enable us to source essential items and ensure we can quickly get them to those who need them the most,” she says. “Last year saw us face one crisis after another; off the back of a persistent drought and the catastrophic Black Summer fires, we then had to reach out and ask for even more support in March when COVID-19 hit and unemployment rates skyrocketed.”

Foodbank relies heavily on donations and volunteers.

In a “normal” year, Foodbank provides relief to more than 815,000 Aussies every month, but 2020 was certainly far from normal – in the three months from April to July, Foodbank purchased more food and groceries than they had in the previous three years.

“Without our donors and partners, and the support of the Federal Government, we simply couldn’t have responded in the way we did,” Casey says.

Foodbank provides food and groceries to more than 2400 charities and 2500 schools, and more than 40 percent of all food and groceries distributed by Foodbank nationally goes to regional and rural communities. The leading hunger relief organisation works with the entire Australian food and grocery sector, including farmers, wholesalers, manufacturers and retailers, who donate and redirect surplus product so it can be distributed to those who need it most via the heroes of Australia’s charity network.

Want to help? Foodbank accepts donations of shelf-stable, chilled and fresh food, as well as private label products and personal and household care items. Products can be out of specification, close to expiry, deleted product, surplus to requirement or have damaged or incorrect packaging. If your organisation can help Foodbank provide food and groceries to vulnerable members in our communities, please visit foodbank.org.au