For the fifth year in a row, SunRice employees Dennis Bagnara, Australia and New Zealand Operations Manager, and Jim Alateras, Logistics Coordinator, have organised a substantial donation of rice from Riverina growers to be delivered to Australia’s largest hunger-relief charity, Foodbank.
The 64.5 tonne donation of SunRice’s Medium Grain White Rice is in addition to another 60.5 tonnes donated by SunRice through the Woolworths Shop & Share program in July 2017. The combined 125 tonne donation will provide over one million meals to the 3.6 million Australians who experience food insecurity each year, 27% of these being children.
The donation is timely, with the latest Foodbank report showing a 10% increase in people seeking food relief over the last year due to an increase in population and living costs with a third of those experiencing food insecurity living in regional and remote areas.
Mr Bagnara commented on the latest donation, saying:
“As a business, SunRice really values what Foodbank does for our community. We work really hard to build productive relationships between the distribution centres, transport companies and Foodbank because we know how important giving back is to our rice growers. Employees also help out where we can and donate a day’s work each year to help the Foodbank distribution centre pack and send food donations to charities.”
The SunRice donation is a true, whole-of-supply-chain effort, from the growers who generously donate the rice, to the employees in the SunRice distribution centres who pack and organise transport through to Deniliquin Freighters, which also donates its freight costs. Foodbank will send the rice to every Australian capital city and it will then be distributed to over 2,400 frontline charities and 1,750 schools, according to need.
Congratulating SunRice, Riverina growers and Deniliquin Freighters for their ongoing generosity, Brianna Casey, CEO of Foodbank Australia said:
“Being a key staple food product, we really value the generous donation of rice from SunRice. Unfortunately, due to the increasing hunger crisis in Australia, our charity partners are forced to turn away 65,000 people who are seeking help each month, so this large donation will help us tackle this rising trend of Australians in need.”
Foodbank strives for an Australia without hunger by working with farmers, wholesalers, manufacturers and retailers to develop new programs and initiatives. Last year, Foodbank dished up 67 million meals across the country and will continue to work with the whole food and grocery industry in delivering this much-needed relief.
“Food insecurity affects a wide range of groups in our community, with the majority being low-income families. Our latest 2017 Hunger Report shows that 27% of those are children and a third are in regional or rural communities.”
SunRice also supports Foodbank through other initiatives such as donating short shelf life products instead of disposing of the food; and employees volunteering a day’s work at Foodbank distribution centres.
SunRice and Foodbank look forward to continuing their relationship into the future, supporting Foodbank’s vision of achieving an Australia without hunger.
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