Foodbank celebrates support from the land

Friday 19th November: Today on National Ag Day, Foodbank Australia celebrates and highlights the critical role our farmers, growers and producers play to ensure nutritious, fresh food relief is accessible to thousands of communities across the country.

Foodbank works actively with Australia’s generous agriculture industry to provide more than 17 million kilograms of fresh produce, milk, eggs, rice, grains, legumes and protein needed to assist the more than one million Australians each month receiving food relief through the Foodbank network.

Despite enduring some of the toughest periods on record, Australian growers, producers and farmers have continued to support Foodbank throughout. In 2020, Foodbank sourced 88 million meals for its charity partners – 30% of which was sourced directly from our agri programs – and more than 40% of the food and groceries distributed through the Foodbank network nationally goes to rural and regional areas.

This year, Foodbank Australia has extended National Farmers’ Federation’s Ag Day from one day on 19th November, to an entire week to raise awareness of the support it receives from the Australian agriculture industry and highlight the gaps where support is still needed.

Foodbank Australia CEO, Brianna Casey, explains, “We are so fortunate to have such strong relationships with our wonderful growers, farmers and producers who help us ensure those doing it tough have access to fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, dairy products, rice and so much more. We work with our partners all the way along our ‘surprise chain’ to rescue perfectly imperfect products, meaning we’re filling empty tummies rather than landfill, and ensuring our farmers’ hard work to produce world class food is not wasted. In addition, we have countless farmers and agribusinesses across the country making regular donations and engaging in seasonal programs to ensure we have a consistent supply of in-demand products year-round.

“This Ag Day, we not only want to say a massive thank you to everyone in the agri-sector, but we also want to celebrate this year’s theme, ‘Choose your #AgVenture’, highlighting the many and varied exciting careers in agriculture, both inside and beyond the farm gate. Whether you live in the city or in the country, there is an exciting career to be found in agriculture. My personal AgVenture in farm lobby groups and at Foodbank has been spent living in the city, but my connection to agriculture has been constant and enduring, and I couldn’t be more grateful to be working closely with National Farmers’ Federation members right across Australia as we strive towards zero hunger in Australia”.

Last month Foodbank revealed in the Foodbank Hunger Report 2021 that one in six Australian adults haven’t had enough to eat in the last year and, even more shockingly, 1.2 million children have gone hungry.

“We produce enough food and groceries to feed our population three times over, yet we know there are many people across Australia going without. Foodbank provides an avenue to connect those vulnerable Australians with essential food relief, much of which is donated by Australia’s world class farmers, growers and producers.

“This week is a chance for us to highlight our innovative agri-programs, securing a steady supply of everyday essentials like pasta, pasta sauce, cereal and sausages. In a country the size of Australia these programs couldn’t happen without the added support of equipment and transport providers to help us get it to where it is needed the most.”

Throughout the week, Foodbank will be highlighting its agri program partners and how their products make a difference to the lives of many in our communities across the country every day.

Foodbank would like to thank its national donors, agri-program partners and industry body supporters.

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