Foodbank, Australia’s largest food relief organisation, and FareShare, Australia’s biggest charity kitchen, have just signed an agreement to reduce food waste and fight hunger with nutritious meals.
“Under this exciting new partnership, FareShare will establish a $4.5 million custom-built, production kitchen in Brisbane with the capacity to cook five million meals a year for people doing it tough,” said FareShare General Manager Kellie Watson.
Foodbank already distributes more than 44,000 kg of food a day to vulnerable Queenslanders supporting over 300 charities here in Queensland and over 220 school breakfast programs. Quality food is sourced from farmers, primary producers, manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers. By teaming up with FareShare, Foodbank can now also provide high quality cooked meals to those in need.
Foodbank Queensland CEO Michael Rose said, “the FareShare kitchen will provide an opportunity for Foodbank to rescue even more food, especially perishables and to reduce waste for donors, by converting surplus food into ready-made meals, rather than sending it to landfill.”
In its first year, the FareShare Queensland production kitchen aims to cook at least a million meals for Queenslanders in need from quality meat and vegetables donated by Foodbank’s generous food donors.
The collaboration plays to both partners’ strengths, tackling food insecurity and Australia’s $20 billion food waste problem head on. Foodbank will source ingredients and distribute meals through its existing network. FareShare will focus on what it does best – adding value to rescued food by cooking it into free, nutritious meals.
The FareShare kitchen will be established within 12 months, creating 5,000 wholesome meals a day including casseroles, curries and stir fries for distribution through Foodbank’s 300 agencies to help feed those in need. The meals are designed to be easily reheated with no need for full cooking facilities, making them ideal for highly vulnerable people.
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For further information and resources, including images, please contact Lucy Farmer (FareShare) on 0418 132053 or Michael Rose (Foodbank Qld) on 0408 424 070.
Notes to editors
- The announcement will be made at Foodbank Queensland 179 Beverley Street (access via Lytton Road), Morningside with vision/photo ops and interviews at 11am.
- FareShare operates Australia’s largest charity kitchen out of Melbourne, Victoria cooking 1.2 million meals a year from rescued food with the support of 850 regular volunteers.
- Foodbank Queensland distributes over 11 million kilos of food and groceries every year, improving the lives of over 180,000 vulnerable Queenslanders annually.
-  An estimated 21,000 people are currently homeless in Queensland and nearly 600,000 live below the poverty line. One quarter of households in disadvantaged areas of Brisbane are food insecure.
- Each year 400,000 Queenslanders experience food insecurity – around half of them are children. Foodbank has witnessed an alarming 11% increase in community groups seeking food assistance.
- A small trial of FareShare’s cooked meals in Queensland found strong demand among charities supporting disadvantaged people.