Foodbank is the only food relief organisation to play a role in times of emergency and natural disasters such as fires, floods and cyclones. Every State and Territory Foodbank is involved in disaster relief, providing essential supplies to support the work of first responders and emergency services as well as giving ongoing assistance to affected communities during the months and years it takes to recover. An example of this is the role Foodbank NSW & ACT and Foodbank Queensland are playing in the unprecedented bushfire emergency currently gripping both States.
As a trusted organisation forming part of the official emergency response network, Foodbank is able to act as a conduit for the generosity of the food industry which is always keen to assist with essential supplies to stricken areas. Foodbank is able to deliver exactly what is needed, when and where it’s needed in order to efficiently and effectively support the relief efforts. When the emergency first hits, this may be items such as bottled water, batteries, toilet paper and food that doesn’t require refrigeration and cooking as there is no power in the area. Over time this may change to ingredients for hot meals to be prepared at evacuation centres and ultimately to hampers of key staples and household cleaning products for people returning to their homes.
Foodbank continues to work in a community long after the initial crisis has passed. Whether people are coping with damaged or even destroyed homes or disrupted income due to their place of work being closed, economic hardship is a challenge that remains after the clean-up has taken place. Food relief, for as long as it’s needed, builds resilience helping people to get back on their feet.