More than 1 million kilograms of fresh fruit and vegetables – worth more than $2.5 million dollars – donated by South Australian growers has contributed to a record number of meals being delivered to families in need by Foodbank SA this year.
The 1,143,200 kilograms of fruit and vegetables in the 2016/17 financial year has contributed to Foodbank SA’s ability to provide in excess of 5 million meals across the state – an increase of 700,000 since last year.
In a unique partnership with the South Australian Produce Market (SAPM), growers and wholesalers donate fresh food and vegetables every day from the Pooraka market site, which is then distributed across the Foodbank SA’s extensive network of 500+ welfare agencies.
More than 90 growers participate in the program, donating first and second grade produce either through the market or direct from the farm gate or packing shed.
When we started this partnership five years ago, we were only receiving 100,000 kilograms as donations per year. We set an ambitious target to meet the growing need and sought the support from SAPM and their producers. To see that now hit 1 million kilograms annually is amazing, and has made a significant difference in the amount of support we can provide families who are struggling to put food on the table.
It is important that the families have balanced and nutritional options, given that the fruit and vegetables are an important part in our diet. Getting the right food into the mouths of South Australians, particularly children, was a key aim and it’s important we continue to do this and grow our reach.
The Foodbank SA partnership with the SAPM was an Australian first, with Foodbank Queensland now trialling a similar program.
SAPM chief executive officer Angelo Demasi said .… “It was a major milestone for the 17 year partnership with Foodbank SA. This fresh produce milestone could not have been possible without the generosity of our growers and wholesalers who also need to be credited for going above and beyond by making available the much-needed fresh fruit and vegetables. It means so much to our industry to be able to give back to the community while ensuring their hard work does not end up in landfill.”