Foodbank Bunbury provides food hub to feed State

Fresh produce rescued from the South West is making its way to struggling families all over Western Australia via Foodbank WA’s Bunbury branch.

Foodbank Bunbury acts as a vital food collection point for WA’s most productive food growing region. Produce is either donated by South West growers or rescued from becoming waste because it doesn’t meet first-grade status. More than 80% of product collected by Bunbury branch is fresh fruit and veg.

Produce received at Bunbury is distributed to people experiencing food crisis through the South West and then statewide through Foodbank WA branches in Perth, Peel, Geraldton, Albany and Kalgoorlie.

Talison Lithium has been a critical supporter of the Foodbank Bunbury since 2018 and recently pledged sponsorship for another three years. Their funding supports vital operational equipment such as freezers for food storage, and distribution costs to keep trucks on the road collecting food from growers.

Last financial year, Foodbank Bunbury provided nearly one million meals to those experiencing food insecurity in the South West. Generous funding by Talison Lithium, helped the branch purchase other essential food items to meet the growing demand for assistance.

Talison team members Chantelle, Nicola and Kate recently visited the Bunbury Branch to see firsthand how their support was making a difference.

Nicola Banks, Manager of Business services at Talison said that the visit, “cemented the outstanding work of the team at the Bunbury Branch.”

“The tireless advocacy of the team to assist those that require the service with dignity and respect, extending the hundreds of kilometres the Branch supports, is second to none.”

With Christmas approaching, Foodbank WA is looking forward to being able to collect and distribute summer stone-fruit to families who are otherwise going without.

CEO of Foodbank WA, Kate O’Hara said, “there is a significant need for emergency food relief in our regional towns and communities”

“We know the impact of COVID-19 is being felt across the state. We have seen a surge in demand for food relief in towns and anecdotally there is considerable unmet need in the regions. Over the last six months, we’ve seen a lot of people to put up their hand and ask for help for the first time. We know this will continue for some time.”

The need for food relief in WA has grown through the pandemic and rental shortages in the South West region have left many people on fixed incomes spending a very large percentage of their money on rent.

Nicola is calling on other local companies to “jump on board”.

“I implore every business to support this excellent cause, the offer of servicing a vehicle, providing some tyres, giving some cash has an overwhelming and real impact to eliminating food insecurity in the region.”

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