It has been a busy few months at Foodbank, especially in the lead up to the election. Foodbank has tirelessly lobbied each party to try to gain commitment to ongoing support for our cause. With a newly elected Liberal Government now in place, we hope they succeed to make SA successful in the future. However until that happens, Foodbank must still act as the “safety net” for the community and find enough food to provide for the 102,718 South Australians accessing food relief every month. Foodbank SA will continue to lobby elected members to ensure their ongoing support of Foodbank SA. We need a commitment from the Premier to ‘end hunger’ in this state. I strongly encourage all Foodbank SA supporters to lobby your elected member to support Foodbank and for them to make a firm commitment to provide financial support to Foodbank in the future.
In the last 12 months we have seen a significant increase in the requirement of food relief required in regional SA. In fact, people living in regional Australia are 11% more likely to experience food insecurity. Many of you would have seen a recent story on ABC’s Landline highlighting the plight of those living in the country and remote areas, and the critical role that Foodbank plays. Often it is these farmers, growers and producers that are the most generous with their produce and helping those in need. South Australia is profiled throughout the ABC Landline program and we are very proud of our contributions, particularly the support of local producers at the SA Produce Markets, Foodbank Berri supporting local community schools and also Cowandilla Primary School. One of these fresh produce providers is Perfection Fresh who supply a fantastic range of tomatoes to us, and a story about this relationship is in this issue.
At Foodbank we see thousands of children going to school each day, hungry, without breakfast, often without lunch and for the most vulnerable returning to school after a weekend having not eaten at all. Next month Foodbank Australia will release our first Children’s Hunger Report, called Rumbling Tummies. This report will really highlight the need of our children, and the statistics are shocking, if not heart breaking. Here in SA, we currently support more than 400 schools both directly and indirectly with different programs including school breakfast, and with the support of Beach Energy we have commenced a school lunch program at schools around the Whyalla region. Later this year we will also commence a new program called Fresh Food Fridays, thanks to the support from Variety SA’s Sprout Fund, which will allow us to provide take-home food hampers to the most vulnerable children around SA each week.
This week we will see the commencement of the AFL season! For us our relationship with Port Power means it also starts the Goals to End Hunger campaign where Port and Australian Gas Networks donate $100 (or 200 meals) to Foodbank for every goal kicked at home games. We hope all Foodbank supporters get right behind Port this year, and watch out for our food donation bins at the opening game against Fremantle.
As always I would like to thank all Foodbank supporters and volunteers for giving us the resources to achieve great things for the people in need in SA.