Mars Food Australia’s commercial R&D kitchen at the company’s production facility at Wyong on the NSW central coast has been converted into a master chef’s culinary workshop to produce meals for local people in need this week.
The initiative, in partnership with Foodbank Australia and integrated facilities management services company Sodexo, is part of a week-long special event to help people in need of food relief on the NSW Central Coast.
During the Covid-19 lockdowns in 2020, the demand for food relief increased by 47 per cent according to Foodbank. In 2021, more than one in six Australian adults hadn’t had enough to eat and, of those, almost 40 per cent had not been in this situation prior to the Covid-19 pandemic
In response to this need, more than 100 staff across all areas of the Mars Food business, along with staff from Sodexo, have volunteered their time to produce up to 2,500 meals, working two shifts a day throughout the week (9-13 May). Local charities who are part of Foodbank’s network will collect the meals and distribute them to individuals and families on the Central Coast.
Mars Food Australia General Manager Bill Heague says there was huge enthusiasm for the project amongst the team at their Central Coast facility.
“As a food company that’s committed to making healthy and good tasting food products that bring people together, what better way to do celebrate our return than by producing meals for those experiencing food insecurity in our local community,” he says.
The teams will be cooking fresh meals with ingredients from Sodexo and sauces and meal bases from Mars Food Australia to create a range of meal options: Dolmio spaghetti bolognaise, Masterfoods butter chicken, Masterfoods beef stroganoff and a vegetable curry.
Mars is also striving to helping alleviate the growing hunger problem on a world-wide scale.
“Globally, Mars Incorporated is committed to delivering 25 million meals to people in need of a healthy meal by 2025,” Mr Heague says. “This project will contribute towards that goal and go some way to helping families struggling with food insecurity and going through difficult times.”