*This post provided by Foodbank Australia is part of a World Food Day 2018 blog series.*
Australia is currently enduring the worst drought in living memory, having just experienced the fourth-warmest autumn in Australian history and below average rainfall for most of the country. This drought is taking a heavy toll on farming communities across Australia, particularly New South Wales, north-west Victoria and eastern South Australia.
Currently, 100 percent of the land in New South Wales and 57 percent of land in Queensland are suffering from drought.
It’s important to recognize Foodbank Australia plays one part in a much wider effort from many charities and organizations working collaboratively to provide the most effective and efficient relief to affected communities. By harnessing relationships across the food and grocery sector, established partnerships and community support, Foodbank will be there to provide ongoing food and grocery assistance not only now, but right through the drought and recovery period, and beyond. Foodbank is working to ensure that the support provided makes the most impact on the ground, and goes to where it is needed most.
Foodbank NSW & ACT spent two weekends with volunteers packing 10,000 food product and personal care hampers to help farming communities suffering from drought. In addition to existing orders of pantry staples, household and personal care products for people in need through our rural and regional charity partners, Foodbank NSW & ACT distributed more than 8 tonnes of fruit and vegetables and a few thousand bottles of water.
Foodbank Queensland supplied over 150 hampers to Aussie Helpers, an Australian farming charity for families in need in rural and regional communities. These were kindly donated and packed by Foodbank partner, Unilever. This was followed up by a weekend hamper pack with volunteers and staff to pack additional hampers. The delivery is part of an ongoing commitment to helping families in rural areas. Queensland farmers have been a staple part of Foodbank Queensland’s product donations, donating more than five million kilos of fresh produce in 2017.
Foodbank Australia is grateful to the National Donors who responded to the request for additional donations and provided volunteers to drought hamper packing days.
There are many ways Foodbank partners and your teams can get involved and help. Our biggest needs right now are both food and funds to help address the urgent requirements for support in our communities facing hardship as a result of the current drought conditions.
Foodbank food and grocery partners can make additional ongoing product donations specifically to support our drought relief efforts. Most needed items include the following:
If you are able to make a food or grocery donation, please get in contact directly with our national food team to discuss further:
General Manager- National Supply Chain
E: firstname.lastname@example.org M: 0400 724 613