A pasta program using raw materials from the Central West is helping feed Australians battling to cope with a lack of money and the coronavirus pandemic.
The donation of flour, oil and sugar to make pasta and sauces is helping feed the nation.
On Tuesday the landmark of 85 million meals donated was recognised when some of the key players met in a canola field at Manildra.
Australians who were struggling to get enough food before COVID-19 are now going hungry more often.John Brunner, Manildra Flour Mill manager
Manildra Flour Mill manager John Brunner said Manildra's flour donation contributed to delivering five million annual serves of pasta to Australians experiencing hardship, through the Foodbank Pasta Program.
"Australians who were struggling to get enough food before COVID-19 are now going hungry more often, with 43 per cent going a day a week without eating," he said.
"We're proud to step up and donate 350 tonnes of locally milled flour and 12 tonnes of sugar to this vital program," he said. The program is now in its 16th year.
Under the scheme Manildra Group's flour is donated to Rinoldi which produces pasta for Foodbank to distribute across Australia. MSM Milling's auzure canola oil and Sunshine Sugar are donated to food producer Simplot to create Leggo's Napoletana pasta sauce.
MSM Milling Director Bob Mac Smith said they had donated thousands of litres of canola oil to the project over the past 12 years.
""This year has really highlighted the vital importance of Australian businesses supporting local farmers, manufacturers, organisations and other Australian businesses," he said.
"We're standing in the canola today which will be expeller-pressed in a few weeks at our presses a stone's throw from here.
"It truly is a unique partnership that highlights what can be achieved when suppliers and food manufacturers come together to collectively benefit Australian communities, from farmers, local businesses and our most vulnerable.
"It's extremely humbling to be involved in this," he said.
Foodbank National Program Manager, Agriculture, Jacqui Payne said the supplies were vital for many Australians.
"Put simply, if we did not receive this support, families and individuals across Australia would be going without," she said.
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