Naturally Good 2023 Charity Partner: Helping People Live Their Healthiest Lives With Foodbank
This year Naturally Good exhibitors donated a massive 300kg of food and beverage to those in need through the event’s partnership with Foodbank. Given the current cost-of-living crisis, Foodbank NSW & ACTs Janyne Hogan explains why food insecurity is now more critical than ever.
With many Australians now tightening their belts, prioritising important grocery purchases has since become a way of life.
When it comes to speciality food purchases in the natural health space, fortunately, many consumers are still buying what matters to them the most and making wiser, less impulsive purchases elsewhere.
But what of those who can barely afford even the most basic necessities? The fact is, over 4 million Australians have experienced food insecurity in the last 12 months. Many people now regularly rely on charitable organisations such as Foodbank for help.
First established in Victoria in 1930, Foodbank is now Australia’s largest food relief organisation, providing food assistance to over 652,00 Australians in each state and territory each month – 27 percent of which are children. Given the current cost of living crisis, this year the charity has been busier than ever.
Helping people live their best lives
Partnering with Foodbank NSW & ACT for Naturally Good, Event Manager Sinead Kavanagh says Foodbank’s mission and the show’s ethos was a great fit for a challenging 2023.
“Foodbank do an amazing job providing a direct service to people struggling,” she says. “Too often when money’s tight, the first thing we compromise on is ourselves and our health. By Foodbank using products from exhibitors, not only are people being provided meals, but they’re getting healthier options they might not be familiar with.”
Ms Kavanagh says this also benefits the brands showcasing. “Naturally Good has always strived to help people live a better, healthier, more sustainable life, so having awareness and access to healthy food is essential. Nowadays, there are so many healthy, sustainable alternatives to choose from.”
Janyne Hogan, Head of Partnerships & Philanthropy at Foodbank NSW & ACT agrees that this year’s partnership was highly successful.
“We were sincerely thankful for Naturally Good including Foodbank NSW & ACT in their 2023 event,” she says. “To have access to such a network of organisations through our partnership has been so impactful; with many learning how we support the community with food relief and how they too have opportunity to reduce waste and support as well.”
Here Janyne explains more about this year’s partnership.
What did Foodbank teaming up with Naturally Good involve?
Exhibitors were encouraged to donate surplus food and beverage products at the end of the event to Foodbank to reduce waste. Approximately 300kg in product was supplied which we were incredibly grateful for. Attendees were also invited to donate $5 to our cause during registration.
Partnering with Naturally Good has helped raise significant awareness of our work. We’re thrilled to share that we raised the equivalent of almost 3,000 meals for people in our communities. Plus of course, with an extra $1,490 raised from attendee donations, this allowed a further 2,980 meals to be created for those in need.
How busy has Foodbank been this year?
Very – as cost of living rises and demand for food relief sadly increases, we’re committed to working tirelessly to provide for our communities, no matter who they are. More people than ever are struggling to access food and the demand for our services is growing. In some parts of our state, we’ve seen demand for food relief grow by as much as 40 per cent.
How much is food insecurity on the rise?
We’ve just released the 2023 Foodbank Hunger Report which sadly revealed more than 1.2 million households experienced food insecurity in the last 12 months – 37 per cent of all NSW and ACT households. This is 105,000 more people than in 2022. Around 23 per cent of Australian households now struggle financially to access food more often than previous years. Increased cost of living was the main reason reported. Gratifyingly, more than four out of five recipients of food relief say food assistance made a difference.
Why is this such a concern?
Basically, we’ve found that food insecurity is now in homes it’s never touched before. In the last 12 months 77 per cent of those households experienced food insecurity for the first time. Those getting into strife are increasingly younger, employed and with mid to higher incomes. Unfortunately, for many a full-time job is now not enough to shield against food insecurity.
Traditionally, it was unexpected events and bill shock that tipped people over the edge. Now it is expected costs of groceries, energy and housing, with food is the most likely thing to be sacrificed. Unfortunately, only a quarter of food insecure households are actively seeking food relief. A third rely on the kindness of family and friends, and more than half don’t access any help at all.
What is Foodbank’s aims for the next few years working with the food industry?
We’ll be working closely with the Australian food and grocery industry, farmers, wholesalers, manufacturers, and retailers to source essential food and grocery items such as breakfast cereals, milk, pasta, canned foods and sausages. That’s in addition to collaborating with local partners and hosting pop-up markets in regional communities to provide better access to fresh produce.
How exactly will Foodbank support the community?
We’ll be liaising with over 700 (and growing) local community partners to distribute the equivalent of 65,000 meals every day. Furthermore, we’ll be providing students in over 600 schools with regular, nutritious breakfasts; resulting in increased attendance and improved learning and health outcomes. Foodbank will also support communities in times of crisis, as first responders across NSW and the ACT following natural disasters. Our ongoing mission is to tackle food insecurity and fight hunger thanks to donors, volunteers and committed partners such as Naturally Good.
Making an impact
Ms Kavanagh says Foodbank exceeded all expectations in a charity partner for 2023. “Foodbank were amazing to work with,” she says. “We wanted to use a reputable charity making a tangible impact who could support us on ground. Foodbank came onsite with a minimum of fuss and collected products to be used straight away across Australia. We’re pleased exhibitors got to share their healthy products with vulnerable areas of the community and minimised their wastage.”
To learn more about Foodbank’s projects and how to contribute visit www.foodbank.org.au