Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Coles trucks distribute food to those in need

Coles has proactively stepped in to help distribute food an increasing amount of Australians struggle to feed themselves.

Its Coles Nurture Fund has served a $500,000 grant to fund four new refrigerated trucks for food charity SecondBite to enable it to deliver meals to those in need.

The trucks are set to collect unsold, edible food in bulk from Coles’ distribution centres and redistribute it to charities providing meals.

Since 2011, Coles has donated over 40 million kilograms – enough for 85 million meals – to disadvantaged Australians through SecondBite.

It also follows a new five-year agreement between Coles and SecondBite that will increase food collections from Coles’ metropolitan supermarkets from three days to five days a week.

Coles CEO Steven Cain said food donations to SecondBite rose 25 per cent in 2018-19 – the equivalent of 4.6 million more meals – and that Coles expected these volumes would increase further this year.

In total, 36,392 tonnes of food waste from Coles was diverted from landfill in 2018-19 through donations to food charities; farmers for animal feed; and through recycling for compost, organic waste and energy.

“These trucks – each with a 4.5 tonne capacity and space for eight pallets of food – will make a huge difference to SecondBite’s efficiencies. Rather than making several trips in a van, we will now be able to collect bulk amounts of stock in a single visit,” SecondBite CEO Jim Mullan said.

“Over the course of a year, Coles donates enough fresh food for more than 60,000 nutritious meals to be provided free of charge each day by around 1300 community food charities who work with SecondBite.”

In the past 12 months, customers at Coles supermarkets and liquor stores have helped to raise over $2.8 million in funds to support SecondBite’s ongoing operating costs and deliver the equivalent of 15 million meals.

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