A moment with Alex Holt
What does your partnership with Foodbank mean to Woolworths from a sustainability perspective?
Woolworths has partnered with Foodbank for more than 20 years and it is an incredibly important partnership for us. The link to sustainability through food rescue is a key driver behind our partnership. As the largest food retailer in Australia, it’s important we are rescuing as much food as possible from landfill. The role Foodbank plays in rescuing food from our distribution centres is critical, as without them it would be incredibly difficult to deliver large quantities of food to those who need it most.
Throughout our 20 years of partnership, more than 46 million meals have been given to people in need as a result of the resources and donations provided by Woolworths, as well as the generous donations of our customers. In 2022 alone, Woolworths donated the equivalent of more than 3.7 million meals, 212,000kg of essential grocery items and more than $1.7 million in donations which helped source essential food and grocery relief. Most importantly, the food we are rescuing is being used to support millions of Australians experiencing food insecurity – so the more we rescue, the less food in landfill, and the more people have access to food! It is such a positive circular loop. Our food waste partnerships are the most important sustainability program to our supermarket shoppers.
The Woolworths and Foodbank relationship has grown significantly over the years, with Woolworths being Foodbank’s biggest donor for the last four years in a row! What opportunities do you foresee for the partnership in the future?
So many opportunities! The top 5 we see are:
- The Hunger Report is such an important tool for the industry. It now provides hunger mapping which we believe will help maximise our support for Foodbank in locations we know over-index in hunger.
- Breakfast Programs. It is increasingly important that kids are not hungry at school, and are supported to learn to at their full potential. We are very keen to do more in this space with Foodbank in the future because setting kids up with a nutritious breakfast is proven to be the best way for them to start the day.
- Working hand in hand with our joint partners and suppliers. The recent April Foodbank campaign was a great success and we want to continue using our network of partners to maximise our impact on food insecurity.
- Leveraging Woolworths Group knowledge and expertise across our systems, digital technology, supply chain and Everyday Rewards program to better connect with people who might be doing it tough.
- How do we work together to take the stigma out of food relief:
Foodbank does a very good job at making Australians more familiar with the changing face of food insecurity in Australia. The more we can talk about hunger and who experiences it, the better we can help reduce the stigma and encourage more people in need to connect with hunger relief providers.
We are grateful to have you on our board, what does it mean to you?
From an early age my mum instilled in me a deep-seated passion to have a positive impact on people. I have experienced and seen first hand the benefit that food relief can provide for people. As a community, we still have a long way to go in addressing inequality and the work that the Foodbank team members do every day to support people with food relief is inspiring. I feel so lucky to be a part of the amazing Foodbank team and the work they do.