Foodbank Australia has recognised the outstanding contributions of six companies who have played a pivotal role in helping to bring food relief to the thousands of Australians doing it tough every day.
This year’s new look Annual Foodbank Awards were presented to Kellogg’s, SPC Ardmona, Havas Worldwide Australia, GroupM, BHP Billiton and Cerebos by the Minister for Social Services, the Hon Christian Porter, at the formal dinner of the AFGC Industry Leaders Forum in Canberra.
On announcing the Award recipients, Enzo Allara, chairman of Foodbank Australia said: “We ask a lot of our food and grocery industry partners because we cannot achieve anything without them and unfailingly they answer the call. The job continues in working to realise our vision of an Australia without hunger but it is important to stop and reflect on what we’ve accomplished and acknowledge the outstanding individual contributions that make our work possible.
“It’s always difficult to single out a few amongst the many partners of Foodbank, but I’m pleased to say that the recipients of the 2015 Awards are truly worthy of recognition for their respective contributions.
“We also pay tribute to the support of the Minister Christian Porter. The ongoing assistance of the Federal Government is vital in maintaining our Key Staples Program.”
Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) CEO, Gary Dawson said, “Foodbank brings the expertise, scale and mass production of Australia’s food industry to bear on the problem of hunger in Australia. The strong commitment of food companies in providing practical, direct assistance to those in need is demonstrated in these great award winners.”
Kellogg’s received the Foodbank Purple Beret for distinguished service in fighting hunger. This dedication to giving is seen in Kellogg’s global Breakfasts for Better Days commitment to donate one billion serves of cereal and snacks between 2013 and 2016. Through this program, Kellogg’s has contributed over 12 million serves of breakfast cereal and snacks for children and their families in Australia and New Zealand. This year, Kellogg’s was a foundation partner in Food Fight, adding its weight to the campaign to raise both awareness and food. In addition, Kellogg’s continues to foster the full engagement of its staff through volunteering, food drives and support of Foodbank events.
Rebecca Boustead, director of corporate communications and public affairs for Kellogg Asia-Pacific said, “The issue of hunger for children and families in need is something that’s very close to our hearts. Every day, one in seven children in Australia go to school on an empty stomach, while many more families rely on the support that relief organisations like Foodbank are committed to provide. We’re proud to be partnered with Foodbank to continue the fight against hunger and to help make a nourishing start to the day possible.”
SPC Ardmona received the Foodbank Purple Plate for conspicuous gallantry in the fight against hunger through the Foodbank Key Staples Program. SPC Ardmona has provided outstanding support to Foodbank for over a decade. The company is a pillar of the program which is aimed at ensuring there are supplies of essential foods in Foodbank’s warehouses every day. But it doesn’t stop there as the company also maintains a total commitment to the food rescue program by ensuring that no ingredients or packaging go to waste.
Responding to receiving of the award Reg Weine, SPC Ardmona’s managing director, said: “SPC has had a proud association with Foodbank since it was founded. We’re delighted to provide quality Australian fruit, tomatoes, baked beans and spaghetti – a staple in all diets – to Australians in need. This award is a great honour and we look forward to working with Foodbank for many years to come.”
Joint recipients of the Foodbank Purple Light Bulb, for illuminating the fight against hunger in Australia, were Havas Worldwide and GroupM for laying the foundations of Foodbank’s Food Fight campaign.
Anthony Gregorio, CEO of Havas Worldwide, said: “We have a responsibility not just to our shareholders but the broader community at large. When the world swings out of balance everyone pays a price. We view our involvement with Foodbank – an amazing organisation doing amazing things – as a fundamental part of how we should conduct ourselves in business. Do well and do good.”
Kristin Muter of GroupM commented: “GroupM is proud and honoured to be involved with Foodbank and such a worthy cause. The Food Fight is a great initiative and we have to also thank our media partners who provided incredible support.”
The Foodbank Purple Hard Hat, for increasing Foodbank’s capacity to fight hunger, went to BHP Billiton for making possible the new Perth warehouse for Foodbank WA. BHPB contributed $3.5 million to the building infrastructure and $587,000 to the purchase of new refrigerated vehicles. This is in addition to longstanding support for Foodbank WA’s school breakfast and Food Sensations programs making it possible to reach into remote areas of Western Australia.
Richard O’Connell, senior manager community at BHPB, said: “We are enormously proud to have worked closely with Foodbank for over five years and we value our partnership and the difference this organisation is making to the lives of Australians in need.”
He added: I am delighted to have seen our partnership build from the grass roots up. From supporting local school breakfast programs, to now providing a warehouse. This has created an opportunity for a sustainable future for Foodbank, as well as a home for their immensely valuable programs that benefit more than 51,000 people throughout our state, Western Australia, every month.”
The Foodbank Rookie of the Year was Cerebos. A supporter of Foodbank since 1998, up and comer Cerebos last year dug deep and dramatically increased its product donations as well as making a financial contribution and increasing its employee engagement.
Terry Svenson, chief executive officer of Cerebos; spoke in response to receiving the award: “As an organisation, we are proud to be part of the community in which we operate and Cerebos employees are encouraged to contribute to the collective wellbeing of the community. We support Foodbank, as we believe in and support their efforts to achieve an Australia without hunger. I’m pleased to see that giving back to the community is becoming engrained as part of the Cerebos culture.”