World Food Day Highlights State-wide Food Insecurity Crisis

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14th October 2010, 07:37pm - Views: 956

Misc Miscellaneous VicRelief Foodbank 1 image

Rowena Booker - Marketing Communications Coordinator

VicRelief Foodbank, 4/2 Somerville Rd, Yarraville, VIC 3013

P: (03) 9362 8300 or 0400 688 103 E: F: (03) 9362 8301


Thursday, 14 October 2010

World Food Day highlights state-wide food insecurity crisis

This Saturday is World Food Day, an event to recognise the efforts made in the fight against world

hunger at national, regional and international levels.

Within Australia this fight is very real. Remarkably in an affluent society like ours, food insecurity is a

significant issue.  

The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates that while there are approximately one hundred thousand

people who are homeless in Australia, there are over 2 million people, who, over the course of a year,

are food insecure.  1 million of these are children. 

There is a significant difference between hunger and food insecurity. Food insecurity is the irregular

access to safe, nutritionally adequate, and culturally acceptable food.  

Food insecurity often affects people who go without because they have decided that paying the rent,

bills, or affording a school excursion is more important than a proper meal.   

In our own backyard, VicRelief Foodbank, Victoria’s largest food relief organisation, currently provides

food for as many as 18,000 Victorians each week, who have run out of food and are unable to afford to

buy more.

In order to do this, VicRelief Foodbank has built partnerships with food producers, wholesalers,

supermarket chains and most recently, the Melbourne Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable Markets, who

now provide a critical supply of fresh, nutritious foods, beyond the reach of so many Victorians

experiencing hardship due to their ever-soaring costs.

VicRelief Foodbank’s partnership with the markets began in early 2009, and this past financial year

alone, has delivered 561,604 kilograms of fresh fruit and vegetables to the organisation.

CEO of VicRelief Foodbank, Ric Benjamin said they were immensely grateful to the Melbourne Market

Authority, who donated two stands at the Markets, for wholesalers and growers to leave pallet loads of

often A-grade produce for the charity every week.

“We now pick up from the markets three times a week and are often ‘bowled over’ by the bounty of fresh

produce donated to us.

“We get approximately 47,000 kilograms of food from the markets every month, and their generosity has

greatly increased our organisation’s capacity to provide nutritionally adequate fresh produce to the

plates of Victorians living in hardship,” Mr Benjamin said.

The Melbourne Market Authority is deeply supportive of VicRelief Foodbank and to demonstrate their

ongoing commitment, recently signed a partnership deal cementing the relationship, and are also now

working hard to secure donations in excess of 1 million kilograms per year.

“The Market’s willingness to become involved with our charity has assisted us greatly in our ongoing

efforts in battling food insecurity,” Mr Benjamin said.

Misc Miscellaneous VicRelief Foodbank 2 image

Rowena Booker - Marketing Communications Coordinator

VicRelief Foodbank, 4/2 Somerville Rd, Yarraville, VIC 3013

P: (03) 9362 8300 or 0400 688 103 E: F: (03) 9362 8301

For media enquiries and to arrange comment please contact VicRelief Foodbank Marketing

Coordinator, Rowena Booker P: 03 9362 8314, M: 0400 688 103, E:

CAPTION 1: VicRelief Foodbank CEO, Ric Benjamin (RIGHT) at the Fresh Produce Donor of the Year

stand, Big Valley Produce, at the Melbourne Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable Markets with Melbourne

Market Authority Marketing Manager, David Fussell (LEFT)

CAPTION 2: VicRelief Foodbank Fresh Produce Manager, Andrew Charles, gathers fresh fruit and

vegetable donations at the Melbourne Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable Markets



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