A Message from Greg Pattinson, CEO, Foodbank SA
The last 6 months have clearly demonstrated the essential role of Foodbank SA in the community. Firstly with the bushfires, Foodbank was one of the first agencies activated by the State Government to provide support to affected communities. To this day, we still send our Mobile Food Hub to Lobethal twice per week to support the victims of the Hills fires. However since the outbreak of COVID-19, this service is now available for other families in the area who need food assistance.
Immediately following the bushfires, we saw the affects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many thousands of people lost their jobs overnight, many of whom had never been in such a position. At the same time, many traditional welfare agencies and charities closed their doors either due to a lack of volunteers or to eliminate any risk of the spread of the virus. With more people needing help but fewer outlets to get food, all of us at Foodbank set ourselves the objective that we would not close, but would continue to provide the safety net for the people of SA.
To achieve this objective, many changes were necessary to our previously normal way of doing things. I would like to thank all of our staff and volunteers who not only worked with the management team to make sure all of our sites were safe, but who also continued to provide a welcoming environment for all of the new people accessing our services.
Even with all of these challenges, we are still driving new projects. We have just launched our second Mobile Food Hub, sponsored by the RAA, and based at our Riverland branch, which will be used to fill some of the gaps for food relief in country areas of SA. Then in September we will be opening the doors of our latest Food Hub, this time in Murray Bridge. This opening will be supported by local Rotary & Lions clubs and has attracted a lot of local interest in what we believe is a region that needs this service.
With all of this happening, I have never been prouder to be associated with Foodbank!
CEO, Foodbank SA