Food charities around the world, particularly those in Australia, are struggling to meet the increasing demands of their recipient base.
In supplying 90% of Australia’s food welfare, the organization Foodbank provides welfare recipients with over 25 million kg of food each year. Foodbank general manager Greg Warren claims that his fleet of 20 trucks that supply the equivalent of 32 million meals a year is less than half of what Australia needs to fully address its food security problems.
Food charity organizations formerly relied on collecting leftovers from restaurants and just-expired foods from grocery stores as their main source of supplies. However, these organizations are now finding that the yields from these resources are inadequate for meeting the ever-increasing demand of the world’s poor and homeless.
Nearly 25% of people that collect from welfare agencies around the world are neither homeless nor living in developing countries. Rather, they are newly unemployed people trying to make ends meet, or those accepting pay cuts at work as the cost of living climbs. These people begin struggling to support a family and turn to food charities like Foodbank for help acquiring certain staples like milk and bread on a consistent basis.
Warren insists, however, that Foodbank’s foremost concern is with not sacrificing quality as the group seeks to increase quantity and welfare access points. Warren claims that the utmost goal is for food to be “safe and delivered in a safe manner.”
Foodbank currently accepts supplies from the Australian Red Cross’s Good Start Breakfast Club, Kellogg’s, Arnotts-Campbells, and Kraft, among others. Foodbank has also begun to expand to working directly with farmers and wholesalers for increased access to fresh fruits and vegetables. This initiative corresponds with Warren’s stipulation about maintaining high quality.
According to Warren, it’s all a matter of logistics, in transporting food from areas of surplus to areas of scarcity. Food charities around the world should seek to mimic the Australian Foodbank in their efforts to end chronic hunger across socioeconomic lines through careful planning and practical connections.
– Alexandra Bruschi