Christmas Appeal to address hunger concerns

Coles and its major food rescue partner, SecondBite, will today launch a nationwide campaign to help provide meals for a growing number of people facing hardship this Christmas.

The Christmas Appeal in Coles supermarkets and liquor stores across Australia will raise funds for food relief as new research1shows 80 per cent of community food charities expect greater demand due to COVID-19.

All funds raised from this year’s Coles Christmas Appeal will go to SecondBite so they can continue their essential work of rescuing and delivering unsold edible food to around 1400 community organisations who provide food relief across the country in the form of cooked meals, food hampers and essential ingredients.

Shoppers can support SecondBite this Christmas by purchasing a $2 donation card at a Coles supermarket checkout from today until Christmas Eve or by making a donation at Liquorland, First Choice Liquor Market or Vintage Cellars store until December 12.

SecondBite Ambassador and Board Director Matt Preston said community food relief organisations across Australia are bracing themselves for the Christmas crunch and urged shoppers to support the cause.

“Christmas can be a time of joy but also a time of great stress for individuals and families, particularly for those who don’t know when their next meal will be or who has been impacted by COVID-19, whether it be physically, financially or emotionally,” he said.

“Eight out of ten community organisations we support have told us they are expecting demand for food relief to increase this Christmas due to the impact of COVID-19 on employment and household finances for already stretched families, with more than half of these organisations expecting demand to increase significantly.”

“The beauty of the Coles Christmas Appeal is that for as little as $2, shoppers can help SecondBite to provide the equivalent of ten meals to a person or family in need.”

This year’s Coles Christmas Appeal coincides with Coles’ 10 year anniversary of working with SecondBite to achieve the mutual goals of ending food waste and ending hunger in Australia.

SecondBite co-founder Simone Carson said the partnership had come a long way in ten years but there is still much more that needs to be done to support communities in need.

“My husband Ian and I started SecondBite 15 years ago with the help of family and friends to rescue food from stallholders at the Prahran Market and putting it in the boot of our cars to take to feed the homeless and vulnerable clients at Uniting Prahran and Sacred Heart Mission in Melbourne,” she said.

“Back then, we had no idea that this simple idea of rescuing food from markets and supermarkets would become what it is today, where we provide the equivalent of more than 48 million meals a year to feed people in need. It was only really when Coles joined our cause in 2011 that SecondBite began to grow by helping us to feed even more people in need from all across the country.”

“I can’t thank Coles and their team members and customers enough for supporting our cause over the past ten years. Unfortunately, it’s a cause that is ongoing and there’s still much more we can do to address the growing need.”

Coles Chief Sustainability, Property & Export Officer Thinus Keevé said Coles was extremely proud of its 10-year partnership with SecondBite and is committed to working together towards zero hunger.

“When we first partnered with SecondBite ten years ago, it was a unique and ground-breaking partnership among supermarkets not just in Australia but across the world to reduce food waste and help feed vulnerable members of our community,” he said.

“We’re extremely proud of our partnership with SecondBite and it’s a cause that our team members passionately support throughout the year, whether it be by ensuring all unsold edible food gets diverted from landfill to SecondBite or by raising funds during our Coles Christmas Appeal.”

“We encourage our customers to get behind this worthy cause as well this Christmas by simply putting a $2 donation card in their supermarket shopping basket or making a donation at one of our Coles Liquor stores.”

Since 2011, Coles and its customers have helped SecondBite to provide the equivalent of more than 160 million meals for Aussies in need. Each year, more than 800 Coles supermarkets and distribution centres donate unsold, edible food to around 1400 food relief and community organisations across Australia.

Coles customers can also donate to SecondBite by visiting secondbite.org

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