Fruit & Veg Program

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Thank you!

Foodbank and the charities and schools we supply food to would like to say a big thank you to the fruit and vegetable industry for their support. From the growers, farmers, and wholesalers, to the retailers and industry associations, we have had yet another solid year of support. We are pleased to report that fruit and vegetable donations increased in volume again last year from 7,500 tonnes in 2014 to 11,000 tonnes in 2015. This is an outstanding effort and means we are able to continue to provide essential fresh fruit and vegetables to those who would normally go without. However, as demand continues to rise, Foodbank is struggling to keep up the supply to meet the need in the community.

 What is the Foodbank Fruit & Veg Program?

The Foodbank Fruit & Veg Program gives the horticulture industry the opportunity to donate fruit and vegetables to families who are doing it tough. The program also provides the industry with a viable and sustainable option for managing waste, so as to help reduce amount of edible produce going to landfill. With sites in every state/territory (including various regional hubs), as well as a presence at each of the state wholesale markets, donating fruit and vegetables to Foodbank is easy!

This year our target volume for fresh fruit and vegetables is 15,000 tonnes and we hope we can again rely on the support of the industry to help us to reach this goal.

Our most in demand items are potatoes, onions, pumpkin, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, lettuce, bananas, apples and pears, but we appreciate any produce that is surplus, not to specification, incorrectly labeled or rejected from the wholesalers and retailers – as long as it is still fit for human consumption.

Foodbank is thankful for the support of major donors like Costa, Oakville, Montague, Perfection Fresh and also the major retailers, who make a massive contribution to the Foodbank Fruit & Veg Program.

 How does it work?

How big is the hunger problem in Australia?

Our latest Hunger Report confirms that food insecurity is hitting a crisis point, with 3.6 million Australians having experienced food insecurity at least once in the last 12 months, with 27% of these being children. More than 652,000 people now receive food relief each month, which has increased by 10%. The face of hunger is diverse – male and female, young and old, single and in families, students, employed, underemployed, unemployed and retirees.

Rural Australia is not immune to this problem. Almost a third of Australians (29%) experiencing food insecurity live in regional and remote areas.

 Why support Foodbank?

Foodbank is Australia’s largest food relief organisation, providing 63 million meals a year to more than 2,600 charities around the country. This accounts for 70% of all the food distributed to charities by food rescue organisations in Australia.

Last year, Foodbank distributed 35 million kilograms of food and groceries with a retail value of more than $200 million. That’s the equivalent of 172,000 meals a day.

We work with the entire Australian food and grocery industry from farmers and wholesalers to manufacturers and retailers. Everyone plays their part, whether it be donating food and grocery products, raw ingredients, packaging, production capacity or transport.

 Fruit & Veg Program Partners

How do I donate?

It’s easy!

  1. You nominate the product to be donated. This includes how much (amount), how often (frequency) and where from (locations).
  2. We agree on the most suitable and convenient day for delivery. Foodbank is also happy to collect product in bulk, directly from the market, but we prefer that bulk product comes in retail packaging.
  3. You arrange the agreed produce/volume amount in bins or on pallets and have it delivered to us or make it available on the agreed day for dispatch.
  4. The fruit and vegetables are delivered to Foodbank or collected by us on the nominated day.
  5. Pallets and/or bins are exchanged or transferred to the local state Foodbank’s account. Foodbank has both CHEP and Loscam accounts.

Donations to Foodbank can be made at harvest time or during trading and there are no minimums on quantity. We take responsibility for all equipment, including pallets and bins. We provide transport where necessary and guarantee that no stock will be re-sold.

 Am I protected if I donate?

You are protected by ‘Good Samaritan’ legislation in all states, which means you are legally covered when you donate product in good faith to Foodbank.

Our team have all completed food safety training to ensure product is always handled correctly and all Foodbank distribution centres have chillers and freezers to ensure the cold chain is maintained.

There is an annual Foodbank registration process for welfare agencies who must have Public Liability Insurance, a Food Safety Plan, a qualified Food Safety Supervisor and staff and/or volunteers with Food Handling Certificates.

Can I claim the donation?

When fruit and vegetables are donated to Foodbank, we issue a Tax Donation Receipt to the donor for the weight (not value) of the donation. The donor adds the monetary value of the product (how much it cost to produce the product) on the receipt prior to claiming the deduction at tax time.

If you would like to learn more about the program and how you might be able to assist please contact Foodbank Australia on  (02) 9887 4144.
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