Foodbank, the state’s largest hunger relief organisation, today celebrated the official opening of a new warehouse located at Perth Airport.
The newly named ‘Centre for Hunger Relief’ has already begun to provide much needed food resources to welfare agencies across the state and currently supplies around 60 per cent of food relief distributed throughout Western Australia. Last year alone Foodbank WA supplied more than four million meals to individuals and families and the charity anticipates this amount will rise to more than 6.6 million meals by 2019.
The centre is launching with the backing of major local supporters, including the State Government of Western Australia, BHP Billiton, Lotterywest and Perth Airport. They have all provided funding to what is now one of the largest Foodbank warehouses across the country, at four times the size of the charity’s former premises.
Colin Barnett, MLA, Premier of Western Australia, says, “The State Government, through the Department for Communities and Lotterywest, has been proud to support Foodbank WA’s 2030 Infrastructure Program with a $12.3 million investment. Foodbank WA does a tremendous job in providing the majority of food now distributed by the welfare sector. It has really led the way in this area and gone from strength to strength in creating a massive logistical network to ensure food gets delivered to locations around the State.”
The new location will also act as a hub of food security and nutritional information with the addition of a dedicated education and training centre. Combined with a commercial kitchen, and productive garden, this new space will support and raise awareness of the charity’s various programs dedicated to the nutritional health of adults, children and at-risk-youth.
Greg Hebble, CEO of Foodbank WA, says, “Here at Foodbank we understand that creating food security involves more than feeding people. So while we are currently supplying food to over 51,000 people and families a month, we are also working to expand our education programs so that we can help more people build their knowledge around shopping, budgeting and cooking so they are better equipped to take care of themselves and their children.”
With welfare agencies in WA currently unable to assist as many as 9,000 people each month, Foodbank WA’s new facility will allow the charity to rescue, receive, buy, store and even make more food than ever before to meet the community’s growing need.
In launching the new facility BHP Billiton Iron Ore President, Jimmy Wilson, said the company was proud to invest A$3.5 million into the Foodbank WA facility.
“We are extremely pleased to be able to help organisations like Foodbank WA make a difference in the lives of Western Australians in need. Our commitment to this impressive new warehouse and our continuous support through various health and education programs enables Foodbank WA to provide food relief while leaving a lasting legacy to many people across our state,” Mr Wilson said.
With the opening of the new ‘Centre for Hunger Relief’ at Perth Airport, Foodbank now has the capacity to better support the welfare sector, securing more food and helping feed more WA families in need long into the future.
For more information, please see the News Release.