600,000 meals for hungry Australians: Mars Food Australia launches Collaborative Supply Program with Foodbank
27th July 2021
Mars Food Australia and Foodbank have launched a new partnership that will help provide more than 600,000 meals to Australians in need this year.
During the COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020, the demand for food relief increased by 47 per cent, with three in 10 of food insecure Australians facing hunger for the first time in their lives.
Foodbank Australia CEO, Brianna Casey, said this new collaborative supply program with Mars Food Australia will help Foodbank better respond to the increasing demand for food relief. Providing a steady, planned supply of food products will help meet the huge logistical challenge of getting food to hundreds of thousands of Australians doing it tough.
“This program helps Foodbank turn our food and grocery ‘surprise chain’ based on ad hoc donations and unpredictable food rescue opportunities, into a predictable, reliable ‘supply chain’,” Ms Casey said.
“Foodbank has never been more important than it is right now. We’re responsible for ensuring essential food relief can remain available in spite of lockdowns, border closures and panic buying.
“Unpredictable employment patterns and the broader economic fallout from COVID-19 has meant we have had to increase the quantity of food we’re providing to Australians from all walks of life. Partnerships like this with Mars Food Australia are vital in helping us meet this growing need,” she said.
Mars Food Australia is donating some of its most popular products, chosen for their versatility in the kitchen and ability to help create easy and tasty meals with ingredients commonly also available through food relief.
General Manager of Mars Food Australia, Mr Bill Heague, said Mars is committed to helping alleviate the growing hunger problem in Australia.
“Last year, through our monthly ad hoc Foodbank donations, we delivered 265,700 meals to people in need. But the pandemic made food insecurity an even bigger issue in our society, and we knew we could do more. We talked with Foodbank about what help they needed most, and a consistent supply of food products came out on top,” Mr Heague said.
“Keeping Australians healthy by providing dinnertime meals is a key ongoing goal for our company. This year we will increase our contribution by providing recipe bases and sauces for 600,000 meals for people in need through Foodbank, and we hope to grow this contribution even further in the future.
“It will help us achieve our goal of reducing the number of individuals and families who are struggling with food insecurity and going through difficult times.
“I’m a firm believer that dinner time matters, because we know that finding opportunities to cook and share meals with family and friends is good for both physical and mental wellbeing. It’s the foundation of our food business, side by side with providing healthy, easy, affordable and tasty meal options,” Mr Heague said.
Globally, Mars Incorporated is committed to delivering 25 million meals to people in need of a healthy meal, by 2025. Here in Australia that means one million meals for Australians by the end of 2021. The new Foodbank partnership will deliver 60 per cent of this goal.
As part of the new agreement with Foodbank, Mars will donate 175,000 jars and bottles of dinnertime products to Foodbank including Dolmio Bolognese and Carbonara Sauce, Kan Tong Butter Chicken Simmer Sauce and MasterFoods tomato sauce. These products alone contain 689,280 serves of vegetables.