Foodbank SA diverting surplus food to more than 100,000 of state's needy every month

Foodbank SA's mobile food hub has enabled it to reach more areas of need.
Image courtesy Foodbank SA

Foodbank SA, part of Australia’s largest food relief and food rescue organisation, was serving 117,260 South Australians – 27% of them children – every month in 2018.

Based on an American concept, Foodbank works with South Australian charities to redirect surplus food donated by supermarkets, restaurants, manufacturers, growers and the public. It also uses agencies, communities, councils or government departments to identify areas with food insecurity.

Launched in 2000, Foodbank SA has food hubs in Berri, Mount Gambier, Whyalla, as well as Edwardstown, Bowden, Christies Beach and Elizabeth in the Adelaide metropolitan area. In a step away from the traditional model, Foodbank SA has started a mobile food hub to get food to families living in the regional areas of highest demand.

The mobile food hub was expected to travel to Murray Bridge, Gawler, Victor Harbour, Barossa Valley and Port Adelaide/Enfield, particularly identified as being areas of greatest need with limited service or access to food relief. The mobile food hub has also been designed to assist families during natural disasters and support drought-affected regions.

ElectraNet electricity transmission company became sponsor of the hub for the first four years, after the state government provided the initial start-up grant. Food to be available from the mobile food hub include pantry staples, healthy food options with free fruit and vegetables and meal packs.

To access the Foodbank food hubs, attendees must have a referral voucher from one of the agencies. Besides relying on cash and in-kind donations from business and the public, Foodbank had more than 200 volunteers, giving 79,000+ hours in 2017-18, throughout the state to meet the growing demand on its help.

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