Foodbank SA’s 10 Million Kilogram Milestone
Over 10 million kilograms of fresh fruit and vegetables, worth more than $25 million, has been donated by South Australian growers to Foodbank SA since Sept 2012, as a result of the partnership between Foodbank SA and the South Australian Produce Market.
The fruit and vegetables have been used by Foodbank SA to provide more than 20 million meals across South Australia, to families in need.
Growers and wholesalers at the South Australian Produce Market (SAPM) donate daily, whilst farms and packing sheds located across the state’s horticulture regions send bulk supplies of produce into Foodbank’s warehouse located in the market. These fruit and vegetable donations are then distributed directly to those in need via Foodbank SA’s Food Hubs and a network of 600 welfare agencies, in addition to supporting more than 550 School Programs.
More than 100 horticulture businesses work with Foodbank SA, donating produce either through the market or direct from the farm gate or packing shed. Today, Foodbank distributes fruit and vegetables to more than 135,000 marginalised South Australians each month – one third being children.
Foodbank SA Chief Executive Officer, Greg Pattinson, said the record result highlighted the benefits of working directly with produce suppliers.
“When we started this partnership, we were receiving 100,000 kilograms as donations per year. Now the annual fruit and vegetable donations hit 1.5 million kilograms annually which is amazing. To have now reached 10 million kilograms of free fresh fruit and vegetables distributed over the 10 years of the partnership is a major milestone – it makes a significant difference to the support we can provide families who are struggling to put food on the table,” Mr Pattinson said.
“We know South Australians have a shortage of fruit and vegetables in their diets. This program has enabled us to provide nutritious meals to some of South Australia’s most vulnerable.
“It is important that families have balanced and nutritional options, given that around 135,000 South Australians would go without each month, if it was not for Foodbank. Getting the right food on the tables of vulnerable South Australians, particularly children, is our aim.”
According to an independent study into Foodbank’s social return on investment, Foodbank’s food assistance not only addresses people’s immediate nutrition needs but also contributes to improvements in their health, emotional wellbeing, sense of self-worth, social relationships and ultimately overall standard of living.
Combined with the environmental savings of food not going to waste, the benefit to the individual and the broader community that flows from every kilogram of food distributed by Foodbank is valued at $23. The Social Return on investment on the 10 million kilograms equates to more than $230 million impact in the South Australian community.
The Foodbank SA partnership with SAPM was an Australian first. SAPM Chief Executive Officer, Angelo Demasi, said “The South Australian Horticultural Industry has generously supported this initiative since inception 10 years ago – donating warehouse facilities on site at the South Australian Produce Market for the operations of Foodbank SA.”
“From the humble beginnings of the partnership where a truck would visit the markets weekly to collect donations of some 100,000 kg a year, through to the partnership we have today, the initiative has grown to provide an essential supply of more than 1.5M kg per annum of fresh produce to families in need.”
“The South Australian Produce Market is delighted with the 10M kg donation milestone and looks forward to continuing our relationship with Foodbank SA for many years to come”.