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Organisations join forces to tackle Australia’s rising hunger crisis

As Australia goes hungry in the face of rising costs of living, leading Charities and organisations join forces to tackle escalating food insecurity amongst the nation’s most vulnerable.

Montague Australia recently announced that a partnership with Foodbank and SecondBite has seen a $4 million social return on investments related to the value of economic, environmental and social benefits in the community from donated fruit.

In partnership with the leading Not-for-Profits tackling food insecurity in Australia, Montague has distributed over 360,000 meals worth of food in 2017 alone. This move, according to Montague Director Scott Montague, “gives back to the communities”.

Another company who’s also fighting hunger in Australia is Virgin Australia. They recently announced that together with OzHarvest, they’ve provided one million meals to children in need around Australia, making them one of the biggest food donors outside major supermarket chains.

Virgin Australia’s General Manager of Group Sustainability, Rob Wood, said the partnership with the OzHarvest signalled the importance of continued community service.

OzHarvest accesses over 125 tonnes of fresh food every week from over 3,000 food donors. This is then distributed to over 1,300 Charities across Australia.

“It’s fantastic when our airline is able to help address the pressing issues of hunger and poverty in our community whilst also improving the way that our business operates and reducing our waste streams,” Wood said.

Although fantastic initiatives and partnerships to tackle hunger around Australia are on the rise, the latest Foodbank Hunger Report confirmed that their front-line charity network is struggling to meet the rising need of food relief in the community, having reported a 10 per cent increase in the number of individuals seeking help in the last month.

Of the 652 thousand people dependent on Foodbank, approximately 65,000 people are being turned away from food relief every month due to a lack of food.

Food insecurity remains a prevalent issue in Australia with over 3.6 million Australians reported to have experienced uncertainty as to where their next meal is coming from in the last 12 months. Around 40 per cent of those affected are employed with children.

“As a community, we might be excused for not hearing one child’s stomach rumbling, but we simply cannot ignore the sounds of thousands of children going hungry in Australia each day,” said Foodbank Australia’s CEO Brianna Casey.

“It is both heartbreaking and unacceptable to hear that children are going hungry anywhere in the world, let alone in Australia. As the cost of living continues to rise, parents are really feeling the strain of these financial pressures on their household budgets, forcing some to make impossible decisions for their families.”

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