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Foodbank fills more hungry bellies from new centre

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With unemployment and hunger reaching crisis point in Australia, the demand for Foodbank's services has never been stronger.

Hunger is a hidden crisis in Australia. And nowhere is this more apparent than in WA - whose citizens are hurting financially in the wake of the mining boom.

Some of the incredible volunteers at Foodbank WA.

Some of the incredible volunteers at Foodbank WA. Picture: Supplied

Jobs are scarce, families are struggling on part-time incomes, or are now unemployed - desperately scrambling for the few jobs that are even out there.

They are stories all too commonly heard by the volunteers at Foodbank WA - who rally daily to tend the needs of individuals and families on low incomes or who are unemployed.

"The truth is, the majority of those we help are ordinary families with low incomes or who can’t find work," says Foodbank WA volunteer Diana Reddin.

Foodbank Geraldton has just opened its new purpose-built warehouse to help meet growing needs for food distribution and nutrition education in the region.

The new purpose-built facility will allow Foodbank Geraldton to handle and distribute an increased volume of meals to keep up with the growing demand in the MidWest and adjoining regions - covering 250,000sq/km.

Foodbank Geraldton has been operating for 10 years and is the biggest regional Foodbank in Western Australia.

In 2013 it provided 700,000 meals for more than 24,000 low-income families. It is hoped the new facility will allow the organisation to reach its target of one million meals a year by 2019.

The new facility - built with Royalties for Regions funding and corporate donations - was designed to meet the growing demands on Foodbank and includes spaces for:

  • dedicated storage for fresh produce, frozen and chilled foods, reducing the excessive level of manual handling currently required
  • client interaction and ample car parking
  • forklift operation and improved truck access
  • dedicated training kitchen, providing nutritional information, cooking lessons and budgeting skills to low-middle income adults in a hands-on environment.
  • Healthy Food For All manager Rex Milligan told the Geraldton Guardian: "Foodbank is not just about putting food in people's stomachs, now it's also teaching people how to eat and live properly for a healthy lifestyle.

    "One of the messages we teach is that everyday foods are super foods. To cook fantastic, healthy meals you don't need to go to any niche shops. The basic, everyday foods available at the local shop, Foodbank or the garden can be used to make nutritious meals." 

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