If you were struggling to put food on the table for you or your family, it’s likely that other household essentials would also be hard to come by.
Foodbank has been rescuing most items you would find in a supermarket for many years, but personal and household care items have been in particular demand over the last 18 months as Foodbank has been called upon to respond to natural disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic alike. In the last year, Foodbank has packed more personal care hampers than ever before.
As Foodbank Australia CEO, Brianna Casey, explains, “Foodbank’s most in-demand non-food items are personal products like toiletries, household products including cleaning supplies, baby supplies such as nappies, and pet food. These everyday essentials play a significant role for people rebuilding their lives after a flood or fire, parents working hard to support their family after domestic or family violence, and for those in our community who suffer most when panic buying clears the shelves.”
The Foodbank Week of Care is an opportunity for us to learn about and share the importance of these items for people in crisis. It’s also a chance for us to celebrate the donors who support Foodbank and the people we help across the country, with everything from tampons to nappies, pet food and shampoo.
Many of the people Foodbank helps are pet owners who are passionate about maintaining the health and wellbeing of their animal companions. For some, their pet may be their only companion, and ensuring they are fed first is the top priority. In turn, helping pet owners provide for their furry friends through tough times can reduce the number of pets surrendered. Knowing your pet won’t go hungry not only ensures the pet’s health but also supports the emotional wellbeing and the sense of self-worth of the pet owner.
We may take for granted items such as shampoo and conditioner, but for many, these are luxury items. When times get tough and household budgets take a hit, not everyone can afford to look after their hair in the same way. Foodbank not only provides food to assist many in our community doing it tough, we also offer a wide range of groceries, including hair care products, to ensure vulnerable Aussies can meet their basic self-care needs. Having access to hygiene products boosts confidence, self-respect, and dignity.
No one should have to choose between food and feeling confident. Makeup may be seen as a luxury item and not something that you would think Foodbank provides to our charity members, but for someone wanting to look their best for a job interview it can make all the difference. In addition, our research shows that women struggling to afford everyday essentials are more likely than men to have experienced domestic violence in their lifetime. Makeup can be very important tool for women wanting to hide a bruise or a scar from physical violence. Foodbank feels passionately that makeup does not have to be luxury item but should be available to whomever needs it.
Healthy skin should be possible for everyone and anyone. It affects confidence and could have a knock-on effect for someone already struggling to pay the bills. Foodbank works with partners who ensure we have a regular supply of products for our charities to offer their communities. Moisturisers, cleansers and other products are not luxury items, but essential items for many men, women, teenagers and children doing it tough.
Having the ability to wash your clothes is essential to maintaining good hygiene, building confidence and feeling ready to face the day. Foodbank believes in the importance of everyone, no matter their background or situation, having access to essential grocery items such as laundry products. So many people take clean clothes for granted, but sadly for many, it can be out of reach.
For many Australians, washing the dishes can be a chore. But whether we like it or not, it’s part of every happy home and one of the first household tasks we teach children. What are your memories of washing dishes? Maybe a soap suds fight with siblings, a good post-dinner chat with guests, or working alongside your little one. However, not every child gets the chance to learn how wash, stack and dry the dinner plates with their parents, carers or brothers and sisters.
Foodbank is not just the pantry but also the cupboard-under-the-sink to the community sector, sourcing and distributing everything you would find in the supermarket, including dishwashing liquid.
Nappies are a complete necessity, no parent can live without them. Foodbank works with partners to ensure our charities have access to the essential, everyday items needed to keep babies and toddlers well taken care of. In 2020, we provided more than 2 million nappies!
For some Australians, the idea of having to ration tampons or pads seems unimaginable. Still, it’s a reality that women across the country face. Our research shows that women represent the majority (60%) of people needing Foodbank’s assistance for the first time during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, we know that the experiences of women doing it tough financially are different to that of men and are characterised by higher levels of emotional strain, anxiety and stress.
Foodbank wants all women to be able to manage their monthly period hygienically, comfortably and with dignity. We want to alleviate some of that emotional strain by ensuring access to the period products crucial to living a healthy, active, confident life.
Dental bills and other consequences of poor dental hygiene can be expensive and for many Australians is avoidable with easy access to toothpaste and toothbrushes. But when shopping lists are needing to be cut down to fit in the very limited weekly budget, these are items that can easily be dropped off. Foodbank works to ensure everyone we support has access to essential oral care items, including toothbrushes and toothpaste, floss or mouth wash. These contribute to improvements in the health, emotional wellbeing and sense of self-worth of people doing it tough across the country.
Many of us experienced some worry, wondering if we will find toilet paper at the shops when panic buying emptied our supermarket shelves. But, unfortunately, for people doing it tough right now, this can be a daily stress running through their minds. In 2020, Foodbank was able to provide a whopping 1.2 million loo rolls for struggling families and individuals.
In times of emergencies or natural disasters, and every day that people across the country need assistance, our personal, pet and household care partners are ready to help. We thank them for their ongoing work to make sure all Australians have access to the essentials.
When our communities are doing it tough, partners like NIVEA enable us to supply essential products to our charities, from moisturisers and cleansers to sunscreen and more. Self-care is so important for all of us to practice, and NIVEA’s skin and personal care products are helping us to offer exactly that for those most in need.
Henkel has been donating to Foodbank since 2018, and last year donated 66,500 kilograms of products. If someone is struggling to afford food for their family, they are probably struggling to afford other household essentials. Having clean clothes for an interview or sending your kids to school with clean uniforms gives people the dignity we all deserve. Did we mention their Cold Power laundry liquid is also helping keep power bills down?
Johnson and Johnsonperiod care
Stayfree and CarefreeMore
Johnson & Johnson have been partnering with Foodbank for 20 years, including donations of much-needed period products, such as tampons and pads. Through these donations, Foodbank is able to give women access to safe and hygienic products, no matter what their financial situation may be. For some Australians, the idea of having to ration tampons or pads seems unimaginable. Still, it’s a reality that women across the country face. Foodbank wants all women to be able to manage their monthly period hygienically, comfortably and with dignity.
Every year, Kimberly-Clark Australia provides a range of it’s essential products to Foodbank to help make life a little easier for families facing hardships around the country. As our largest baby care donor, Huggies provided 332,800 nappies in 2020 to ensure our charity partners have access to these essential, everyday items needed to ensure babies and toddlers and their families can thrive.
L’Oreal donates a range of haircare and makeup products to Foodbank, giving everyone the chance to live life with dignity and confidence. When times get tough and household budgets take a hit, not everyone can afford to look after their hair in the same way. When it comes to makeup, no one should have to choose between food and feeling confident. Foodbank and L’Oreal work together to ensure vulnerable Aussies around the country are able to meet their basic self-care needs.
Mars Petcarepet food
Whiskas and Royal CaninMore
In the first half of 2021, Mars Petcare have donated the equivalent of 1,1885,500 pet meals to Foodbank. Pet owners and their furry friends all over the country are grateful for your generous support! For some of the people Foodbank supports, their pet may be their only companion, and ensuring they are fed first is the top priority. In turn, helping pet owners provide for their furry friends through tough times can reduce the number of pets surrendered.
PZ Cussonsdishwashing liquid
PZ Cussons helps Foodbank create an Australia where everyone gets to do the dishes. For many Australians, washing the dishes can be a chore. But whether we like it or not, it’s part of every happy home and one of the first household tasks we teach children. However, not every child gets the chance to learn how to wash, stack and dry the dinner plates with their parents, carers or siblings.
The Sorbent Paper Cotoilet paper
The Sorbent Paper Co. provides regular, guaranteed donations of toilet paper to Foodbank, to be distributed around the nation by our charity partners. As we have seen, nothing is scarier than the thought of going without toilet paper. Many of us experienced some worry, wondering if we will find toilet paper at the shops when panic buying emptied our supermarket shelves. But, unfortunately, for people doing it tough right now, this can be a daily stress running through their minds. In 2020, Foodbank was able to provide a whopping 1.2 million loo rolls for struggling families and individuals.
Unilever has made a generous donation of 150,000 kgs of laundry powder this year, which we are currently packing and sending around Australia for people doing it tough. So many people take clean clothes for granted, but sadly for many others, it can be out of reach. Unilever and Foodbank believe everyone – no matter their background or situation – should have access to clean laundry, and the confidence, dignity and empowerment it brings each day.
Every week, Australian families find themselves rationing out laundry detergent, toothpaste or shampoo, or taking them off the shopping list entirely. These are items that many can take for granted but are all part of living a life of dignity, confidence and comfort.
Foodbank believes in the importance of everyone, no matter your background or situation, being able to live a dignified life, with access to kitchen, laundry and bathroom necessities.