Mars Food Australia, Sodexo and Foodbank have pooled their resources to hold a week-long special event to help people in need of food assistance on the NSW Central Coast.
The Mars Food Australia team is returning to the company’s production facilities in Waonga – for the first time many of them were in place since the introduction of COVID-19 restrictions – and their commercial kitchen for research and development has been transformed into a culinary master chef’s workshop. for locals in need.
During the blockades of COVID-19 in 2020, the demand for food aid increased by 47 percent, according to Foodbank. In 2021, more than one in six Australian adults did not eat enough food, and nearly 40 per cent of them were not in such a situation before the pandemic.
In response to this need, more than 100 employees in all areas of Mars Food business together with Sodexo employees voluntarily provided up to 2,500 meals, working two shifts a day during the week (May 9-13). . Local charities that are part of the Foodbank network will collect food and distribute it to individuals and families on the Central Coast.
Mars Food Australia general manager Bill Higg said there was great enthusiasm among the team on their central coast for the project.
“As a food company that strives to produce healthy and delicious foods that bring people together, it’s better to celebrate our return than to produce food for those who feel food security in our local community,” Higg said.
Sodexo, a comprehensive facility management company based in the Central Coast, has teamed up with Mars Food Australia to provide support services and essential food ingredients needed to prepare 2,500 meals.
Keith Weston, executive director of the Energy and Resources and Strategic Accounts Group, Australia, said Sodexo wants to collaborate on this week’s event to support the local community.
“We are excited to work with our client, Mars Food Australia, and our national charity partner, Foodbank Australia, to meet the growing demand for food aid in our communities,” Weston said.
“When we work with stakeholders who share our values, great things can happen. This collaboration also supports Sodexo’s global Stop Hunger program and mission to improve the quality of life of the people where we work ”.
Teams will prepare fresh dishes from Sodexo ingredients and sauces and bases from Mars Food Australia to create a range of dish options: Dolmio Spaghetti, Masterfoods Chicken Butter, Masterfoods Beef Stroganoff and Vegetable Curry.
Brianna Casey, CEO of Foodbank Australia, said Foodbank is very excited to be a partner in this project and is helping to get these dishes directly to those who have gotten into difficult times in the local area.
“Foodbank provides assistance to more than one million Australians each month, and as the cost of living rises, that figure is unlikely to decline any time soon,” Casey said.
“We know that nutritious food is more than just food. This not only relieves the burden of stress, but also allows families to come together and get closer at the dinner table. This is something that the preparation of Mars Food and Sodexo will enable many families and individuals who are now making it difficult. ”
Four charity partners who will collect and distribute food during the week:
- An introductory public school that manages a family pantry and is well known in the community;
- FIAM Incorporated Care Arm, which manages an information service for people in need who cannot travel, and shares food with the local homeless support service;
- Toukley Neighborhood Center, which manages the pantry and delivery service for people in need; and
- Coast Shelter, which provides a range of services and personal support for people experiencing homelessness or violence in the family and in the family.
Hague said Mars is committed to helping alleviate the growing problem of hunger worldwide.
“In the world, Mars Incorporated aims to deliver 25 million meals to people in need of healthy food by 2025. This project will help achieve this goal and in some way help families struggling with food security and going through difficult times, ”he said.