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Foodbank brings the heart of Christmas to the red centre

Foodbank Australia, 20 December 2018 –The burden of feeding loved ones on Christmas day will be eased for vulnerable families in Alice Springs. Foodbank, together with one of its national partners, Virgin Cargo, transported Christmas hampers from Darwin to Alice Springs to help feed the hungry through the Salvation Army Alice Springs.

Delivering these hampers was Foodbank’s inaugural Youth Ambassador, 10-year-old Alice Ramsay, who boarded a Virgin Australia flight in Sydney with her mum and travelled to Alice Springs to bring joy to those doing it tough this Christmas.

Alice has been donating food and other necessities to homeless people around Sydney since she was six years old. She has funded her food drives with stalls selling sweets and homemade lipsticks, bake sales at after school care and via her mum’s Facebook page. Passionate to help on a bigger scale, she has teamed up with Foodbank as the first Youth Ambassador for the food relief organisation and is thrilled to be heading to the red centre to do what she loves doing – feeding the hungry.

“It really makes me sad to see people without food and warm clothes. I really enjoy holding my stalls to raise money for charity, I have been raising money at my after school care the last few weeks to help pay for the hampers and I’m super excited to be in Alice Springs and helping families in the Northern Territory who need our help,” Alice said.

Foodbank Australia CEO, Brianna Casey, witnessed first-hand Alice’s determination to raise funds for people in need and was blown away by her resourcefulness in engaging her local community, particularly through after school care. She knew instantly that Alice was someone special that Foodbank would be humbled to have on board to help fight hunger.

“I don’t know many 10-year-olds who would give up playing with friends to bake and sell cakes to raise money for those in need. Not only does Alice raise money, she also researches what she needs to buy, purchases it all, with the help of Mum, and ropes in friends to help deliver what can sometimes be two trolley loads filled with bags of food and essentials for vulnerable people in our community.”

Virgin Australia has been supporting Foodbank for more than five years and jumped at the chance to actively get involved with Foodbank’s campaign to ‘Bring the heart of Australia together this Christmas’. Aimed at its corporate partners, Foodbank’s goal is to raise much needed funds to get more food to Aussies doing it tough and to highlight the social isolation many Australians experience as a result of food insecurity, especially during the festive season.

Virgin Australia Cargo General Manager, Glen Moloney, said that Virgin Australia was pleased to help Foodbank provide an important service to the heart of Australia and communities in remote areas.

“We are always looking for opportunities to give back to the community. At Virgin Australia Cargo, we understand that our services can make a big difference to remote communities who may not have access to goods and services and we are pleased to help with such worthwhile causes,” he said.

The hampers, packed by the generous team and volunteers at Foodbank in Darwin, were filled with essential food items to help vulnerable families celebrate this festive season. Foodbank in the Northern Territory works extremely hard with limited resources throughout the year. They currently provide food relief to over 10,000 people each month, but demand is significantly outstripping supply. In fact, Foodbank needs 87% more food in the NT to meet the existing demand for food relief there.

“Whilst Christmas in Australia generally involves bringing the family together to share a meal, that meal can be hard to come by for many,” Ms Casey said. “We are so pleased that Foodbank is able to add some Christmas cheer by helping to provide food relief to some of the most vulnerable in our community”.