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TAS Country : March 17th 2011
12 Tasmanian Country Friday, March 18, 2011 Charity's goodwill feeds big need HELPING HAND: Foodbank Tasmania general manager Tim Dunn with products destined for Tasmanian charities. Picture: KIM EISZELE OVER the FENCE John Rich Many of us would probably not be aware there are a significant number of children arriving at school these days without having had a nutritious breakfast.' THE many charitable organisations and groups in Australia and Tasmania do a great job providing valuable assistance to those in need. There is one perhaps not yet as well known as it should be that deals in food. This national organisation, with its head office in Sydney and branches in each state, is known as Foodbank. The organisation works in partnership with the food industry, the corporate sector, governments, welfare agencies, community groups and volunteers. Foodbank is a not-for-profit charitable organisation that collects surplus, donated and/ or purchased food and grocery products and redistributes those items to low income individuals/families and/or community-based charitable organisations. Foodbank also collects items like shampoo, soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes and deodorant as well as household items such as laundry detergent, soap powder, dishwashing detergent and cleaning products. Any food and groceries fit for human consumption are gratefully accepted. Foodbank is the largest hunger relief organisation in Australia, acting as a conduit between the food industry's surplus and the welfare sector's needs. Each year, two million Australians rely on food relief and about half of them are children. This is a major social problem, with many victims suffering in silence. It is estimated about 12 per cent of the population is reliant on welfare agencies. That number is set to increase given the current economic climate with people who previously would never have dreamed of seeking such support doing so. The reasons for reliance on welfare agencies are, of course, very complex. Foodbank cannot resolve the reasons why but it can make a serious difference whether or not adults and children have access to sufficient food. The core role of Foodbank is to collect food from the manufacturers, retailers, warehouses/ distribution centres and primary producers that would otherwise go to waste and make it available to those who are hungry. There is no suggestion that Foodbank is distributing waste or garbage -- quite the contrary. The food being distributed is every bit as good as that which is purchased by those fortunate enough to be able to buy from supermarkets and other retailers. Food is provided to Foodbank for a variety of reasons including the expiration of commercial value (because the produce can no longer be moved successfully to the point of sale in the retail market due to short shelf life), labelling errors, discontinued lines, surplus stock, minor recipe variations and damaged packaging. Fresh fruit and vegetables are always in demand. As with packaged food (frozen and dry goods) the first criteria is for the donated fresh produce to be fit for human consumption. One Foodbank staff member said that if fresh fruit and vegetables could be sliced, diced or pulped then there was also a requirement for that food within the system. The 2200 welfare agencies supported by Foodbank have a variety of needs and the organisation caters for soup kitchens and contributes to household hampers and emergency food parcels. Last year, 19 million kilograms of food was distributed by Foodbank. This is a long way short of the current demand for 50 million kilograms. Currently, more than 60,000 people are fed every day by Foodbank. The organisation has 70 employees and relies on 2000 volunteers for packing, sorting and distribution. And Foodbank is always looking for more volunteers. Foodbank now has the ability, capability, competence and cold storage in place to manage and distribute supplies of fresh fruit and vegetables. This is a key component of achieving the 50 million kilograms of total food to be distributed by 2015. The fresh produce target within this is 18 million kilograms. Foodbank will work with suppliers to establish the most simple and efficient collection/delivery system. The organisation is always seeking the following items as ''high demand'' foods -- breakfast cereal; fresh and long life milk; pasta and pasta sauce; meat; soup; canned fruit; vegetables; frozen meals; fresh fruit; bread and dairy products. Companies or individuals not involved in the food industry can donate goods, services, volunteers or funding to this very worthwhile cause. The general manager of Foodbank in Tasmania, Tim Dunn, says one of the activities here is to provide food to Tasmania's School's Breakfast program. Many of us would probably not be aware there are a significant number of children arriving at school these days without having had a nutritious breakfast. Among other foods, Mr Dunn says that a regular supply of apples is required to complement what is already being supplied. Supporters of Foodbank in Tasmania include: Coles, Woolworths, IGA Supermarkets, McCain, Simplot,K&D,Juicy Isle, SRT, Toll, Fresh Freight, Tamar Valley Dairy, Praties, Goodman Fielder, Bidvest , Cadbury and Houston Farms. There is also an opportunity for primary producers and fruit and vegetable packers to become actively involved. Apart from fresh fruit and vegetables, there is a need in Tasmania for minced meat and sausages. This can be achieved either from direct donation by a meat processor or by the processor agreeing to produce the produce subject to donations. This is called a ''collaborative supply arrangement'' where the product is produced to standard specifications. The finished product is then transported to the Foodbank warehouse for distribution to welfare agencies. For more information about Foodbank phone Tim Dunn on 6248 4974 or email email@example.com. Opinion NURSING S RS I S RCNA, Australia s peak professional nursing organisation, is proud to partner t e Australian o ern ent as t e fund ad inistrator for t is progra freecall 1800 117 262 c lar rc a. rg.a NA h d , y d : N r g a All e eal c lar a r c e e (NA ) IS I I GIN R GR UR NURSING R R h h h : g r fe al e el e c lar cl g ut not li ited to -- e eral rac ce N r g -- Na al N r e e-e r A r g al e cal er ce c lar (A ) -- reg ere r e r lle r e r w fe w rk g a A a wa g er ake r gra a e e -- ergra a e r g e er ak g cl cal lace e w a A
March 10th 2011
March 24th 2011