Zurich Australia and OnePath Life support Foodbank with COVID-19 response funding


20 May 2020: Zurich Australia (Zurich) in cooperation with Zurich Insurance Group’s charitable foundation, the Z Zurich Foundation (ZZF) in Switzerland, has announced an immediate wave of community impact funding to support Australian and New Zealand charities in the wake of COVID-19.


The emergency financial support equates to an additional $1.43 million, which is being allocated to 20 different charities – some national, some with local, grassroots focus.


The funding is on top of the ~$2.28 million, which Zurich annually donates to its “hero” community programs, plus an additional ~$1 million donated by ZZF to various charities in the wake of the Australian bushfires earlier this year.


One of the largest recipients of the local allocation is Foodbank Australia who will receive $1 million.  The money will help Foodbank Australia source and distribute additional essential food and grocery items to around 2,400 charities around Australia, who are experiencing a spike in demand given the economic downturn associated with COVID-19.


Brianna Casey, CEO, Foodbank Australia, said: “Foodbank has seen an unprecedented 48% increase in demand for food relief across our charity agencies. We are seeing new demographic groups who have never had to ask for food assistance before and we know this problem will not be fixed overnight.


“In the past month, we have sourced more key staple foods than in the three years prior to COVID-19. Through our established relationships with the food and grocery industry, we can turn $1 into $6 worth of food, so donations such as these allows us to effectively and efficiently purchase food to support the many people in our communities affected by COVID-19. We are so grateful to Z Zurich Foundation for this incredibly generous donation which will allow Foodbank to continue to scale up and respond to this new ‘normal’ for as long as needed,” she said.


Linda Griffin, Head of Corporate Affairs and Community, said, “The intention of the funding is to help these charities navigate through the short to medium term issues arising from this crisis. Due to it, many charities are facing increased demand for their services, yet are challenged by a reduction in donations plus an inability to rely upon their volunteers in the same way, due to lockdown efforts.”