25 February 2013, Sydney – More Australians experiencing hardship will have the benefit of nutritious milk thanks to a program made possible by a partnership between the Australian Government, the private sector and Foodbank, Australia’s largest food relief agency.
A special lunch, attended by Julie Collins, Minister for Community Services, was held for the regular visitors to Parramatta Mission today, to celebrate the extension of Foodbank’s milk program which will see 600,000 litres of long life milk go to charities around Australia adding to the one million litres of fresh milk already made possible by the Australian dairy industry.
An additional $300,000 from the Government, combined with contributions from Devondale, Tetra Pak, Visy, Toll and the Flight Centre Foundation, is enabling Foodbank to source the shelf-stable UHT milk to compliment the fresh supply. This will allow milk to be included in emergency food hampers and distributed to charities without the need for refrigeration, which is particularly important in remote and regional areas.
John Webster, CEO of Foodbank Australia commented on this new initiative: “To the 2,500 charities we serve in their vital work, we want welfare agencies to be able to rely on us for all the key essentials they need to provide balanced and nutritious meals to people in need. Milk is consistently at the top of their shopping list.”
“The Australian Government is a pivotal partner in our collaborative supply program which proactively fills the gaps in staple foods that cannot be obtained via traditional rescue channels. We see this expansion of our dairy program as a great example of what can be achieved in addressing the problem of hunger in Australia when the Government and the private sector work together,” John said.
Commenting on his company’s support of the program, the Managing Director of Tetra Pak Oceania, Noel Ayre, said: “One can’t learn about Foodbank’s work without wanting to play a part in helping them to achieve their goal of eliminating hunger. Tetra Pak pioneered aseptic packaging in the 1960s making long life milk possible, and also perfect for Foodbank’s work.
Speaking on behalf of the welfare agencies, Rev Keith Hamilton, Acting Group CEO and Senior Minister, said. “It is particularly important for us to help vulnerable people to maintain a nutritious diet. Wholesome food, such as milk, is a key ingredient to good health and this is a critical foundation to providing hope for a better future.”
John Whateley, Chairman of the Flight Centre Foundation, said in relation to the program: “When we chose to support Foodbank Australia, about a year ago, we were most happy to know that our contributions would directly help nourish young kids and families. We are delighted that the Flight Centre Foundation can be part of the long life milk program and the great work that Foodbank is doing in alleviating hunger.”
NOTES FOR THE EDITOR:
About Foodbank Australia:
Foodbank is the largest hunger relief organisation in Australia collecting surplus and donated food and distributing it to charities and community groups to provide to people in need.
Foodbank is a non-denominational, non-profit organisation with distribution centres in all states, the Northern Territory and ten regional centres. In partnership with government, the private sector and the general public, Foodbank assists the welfare sector to tackle the growing problem of food insecurity in Australia.
In 2012 Foodbank distributed 24 million kilograms of food to 2,500 agencies to create 32 million meals or 88,000 meals every day.
You can follow Foodbank Australia on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/foodbankaustralia
About Parramatta Mission:
Parramatta Mission has been providing services to people who are homeless, facing crisis and living with mental illness for over 40 years.
Today, Parramatta Mission is one of the largest providers of community mental health services in NSW, as well as one of the largest providers of community services to people who are homeless and facing crisis in western Sydney.
With the help of Foodbank, Parramatta Mission provides 100,000 meals each year to families and individuals who are experiencing disadvantage.
For further information please contact:
Foodbank Media Relations
Ph: 02 9963 7725
Mob: 0412 765 672