Everyday Food Essentials

The unexpected COVID impact on food relief

When rising living costs meet streamlined supply chain management, the result is fewer leftovers and fewer food donations. 

While donations may have declined, the need for food relief hasn’t. In fact, demand for our services is up 31% compared to this time last year. But we’re not just here to talk about the issue, we’re here to tackle it head on and here’s how we’re doing it. 

A tale of two forces 

To address this challenge, we first have to understand why the shortage is happening. There are two forces at play: 

Effective supply chain management – Driven by COVID, retailers have fine-tuned their inventory management to perfection, which is great for their operations, but it has resulted in fewer leftovers that were traditionally donated to us. 

Balancing supply and demandThe need for food relief is growing. Protein donations alone have dropped by 21% compared to the same time last year, while demand for our services has increased 31%. Ultimately, the reason is simple – demand is outstripping supply. 

WA Foodbank WA Everyday Food Essentials COVID Impact

So how can we ensure a consistent supply of food while demand grows and food donations drop? 

Introducing Everyday Food Essentials 

In an exciting first, our Everyday Food Essentials initiative provides a consistent and dependable stream of pantry staples, separate from donated goods. By purchasing products, we’re ensuring our shelves are consistently filled with the essential items our customers rely on the most.  

From baked beans to breakfast cereal, food basics will always be available at affordable prices. For $1.50, our customers can access baked beans, rice, pasta and pasta sauce, diced tomatoes, mixed vegetables, and chicken sauce. With chunky beef stew and family-sized tins of tuna available at $3.50, every household will have access to the fundamental building blocks for a nutritious meal. 

While tackling the shortage is our priority, so is making sure everyone can access it. We distribute the purchased meat to our customers at cost, ensuring that it remains affordable and accessible. 

Everyday Food Essentials are now available at all regional WA branches, with Bunbury rolling out the Essentials range thanks to the generosity of South 32. 

By offering affordable consistency, we can make a real difference in the lives of those facing food insecurity. 

Want to learn more about the protein shortage?