To support the growing number of Australians impacted by the rising cost of living, Coles yesterday launched its annual national winter appeal with its major food rescue partner SecondBite.
The national appeal gets underway amid a spike in demand for food relief this winter with SecondBite’s research revealing its agencies are experiencing a marked increase in requests for support particularly among individuals and families in stable employment, who have not previously required food assistance.
This winter, Coles shoppers can help support Aussies in need by purchasing a $2 donation card at the supermarket checkout until Tuesday, 5 July or making a donation at Liquorland, Vintage Cellars or First Choice Liquor Market stores until Tuesday, 12 July.
All funds raised from this year’s Coles Winter Appeal will go to SecondBite so they can continue their essential work of rescuing and delivering unsold edible food to over 1400 community organisations which provide food relief across the country in the form of cooked meals, food hampers and community pantries.
Coles chef and ambassador Curtis Stone called on customers to dig deep during the Winter Appeal to support those in our community doing it tough.
“As the temperature plummets, it really hits home how difficult this winter will be for so many who cannot afford to put a regular, healthy meal on the table. By donating as little as $2, SecondBite can provide the equivalent of 10 nutritious meals to families or individuals in need.”
SecondBite CEO Steve Clifford said the extraordinary demand for food relief highlighted that anyone could find themselves requiring food support given adverse circumstances.
“This year we’re seeing layer upon layer of need as individuals and families, who have previously been able to support themselves are now wondering where their next meal will come from,” he said.
“They often come to our food relief agencies after exhausting all their savings and borrowings so feelings of hopelessness and shame are very common. We hope that through the SecondBite Winter Appeal at Coles, we can provide those seeking food relief with a positive experience and ensure that there is food to support those seeking our help this winter.”
Rebecca Auriant, Director of Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) in Victoria, said the past three months in particular had seen demand for food relief surge.
“Due to cost of living pressures and the lack of safe and affordable housing, we have seen a 20 per cent increase in families requiring food relief,” she said.
“In emergency relief networks run by local councils across Victoria, there is also a trend of not only rough sleepers and single-households increasing but family households requiring urgent support. This places a huge burden on a family unit – in turn increasing mental health issues and family and domestic violence interventions.”
Coles customers can also support SecondBite by making a donation via secondbite.org or by purchasing a Coles Kitchen 300g soup, with 10 cents of every tub soup sold until 31 October going to the cause. The donations apply to the Coles Kitchen 300g soup range, including Butternut Pumpkin, Chicken and Sweet Corn, and Chicken and Vegetable.
Each year, more than 800 Coles supermarkets and distribution centres donate unsold, edible food to over 1400 food relief and community organisations across Australia.