Food relief – why Foodbank purchases food and groceries

The need for food and grocery relief has always been greater than the amount we can rescue and source through donations. This gap was at its biggest at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic when demand sky-rocketed before government subsidies were implemented and donations plummeted due to the craziness of panic-buying.

Our vision is an Australia without hunger and for us, that means trying to meet the known need for assistance. This, in turn, means we have to fill the gap between demand and donations, otherwise people across the country will go without. Foodbank proactively purchases food and grocery items to make sure the thousands of charities accessing our services and the millions of people who rely on those charities, can get the everyday essentials they need throughout the year.

Here’s a few quick facts about how and why we purchase food and grocery items.

  1. We purchase fresh meat protein because it has the biggest gap between supply through donations and demand from people in need. It is often one of the first things off the shopping list in tough times, but is an important part of a balanced diet for many people in Australia. We have a world-leading sausage Collaborative Supply Program that enables trim producers and financial donors to contribute to the final product, ensuring every dollar has the biggest impact possible.
  2. Did you know Foodbank does more than food? We believe everyone should also have access to all the necessary personal and household care items needed to live a life of dignity. We work with our local teams around the country to find out which items are most needed in the community, such as period care, laundry, dental health, and cleaning products.
  3. Transportation is our single biggest cost at Foodbank. We get great support from a number of partners, but with more than 48 million kilograms of food and groceries coming into the Foodbank network last year, there’s plenty to move around. We’re always looking to work with logistics companies who can be enablers to our food rescue and purchasing programs, helping get food and groceries to where they’re needed most.
  4. One of the main reasons we purchase food and grocery items at Foodbank is for our hampers. Whether they’re for Christmas, emergency relief or COVID-19 response, consistency is key in providing a hamper that’s useful to the recipient.
  5. Purchasing expands and strengthens our partnerships. Working with our partners to proactively source products has meant we’ve engaged with more of their teams and become an even bigger part of their community and sustainability programs.

If you’re interested in supplying or helping fund our purchasing programs and want more information, don’t hesitate to get in touch.