MSM Milling and the Manildra Group have pledged to continue to donate two of the key ingredients needed to produce 250,000 jars of Leggo’s pasta sauce, which will be distributed to welfare groups and charities throughout Australia.
The two companies are among 20 corporate partners that have donated ingredients and packaging to produce the napoletana pasta sauce as part of an Australia-wide Foodbank initiative designed to help low-income families put food on the table.
Recipients of the pasta sauce include FoodCare Orange, which helps low income families access inexpensive food, and the Mid Western Consumer Advisory Group (CAG), which supports about 70 people a week through the O’Brien Centre at Bloomfieled.
Thousands of kilograms of donated canola oil from MSM Milling in Manildra, as well as sugar from the Manildra Group, have already been used to make the pasta sauce as part of the Foodbank pasta sauce program, which has been operating for four years.
Foodbank Australia general manger Greg Warren travelled from Melbourne to Orange on Monday to personally thank MSM Milling and the Manildra Group for their contributions to the program.
Mr Warren said Foodbank could not continue to provide food for people in need without the support of the corporate sector.
“This program is a great example of what can be achieved and how the load can be spread across the entire supply chain when the food industry comes together to tackle the problem of hunger,” he said.
Mr Warren said despite the donations, demand for Foodbank’s services continued to grow.
“Ideally we wouldn’t have a job,” Mr Warren said.
“It’s scary that it [demand] is not restricted to one area, it’s across the country, it’s rural and it’s metro.
“There’s never enough product in the warehouse.”
Mr Warren said last year Foodbank distributed enough food to make 32 million meals, via more than 2500 welfare agencies.
He estimates double that amount of food is needed to meet demand.
FoodCare Orange chairwoman Julia Zinga said demand for the Orange service continued to grow, with products that contained local ingredients especially welcome.
“It’s a lovely way for suppliers to give back to the community by providing such needed supplies,” she said.
“It’s just wonderful and very generous.
Mid Western CAG chairwoman Helen Worsley said Foodbank donations like pasta sauce helped her organisation supplement limited grant funding and allowed volunteers to provide proper meals to clients.
“We rely on donations,” she said.
“Foodbank adds a little bit extra to stretch our budget.”