Coles and food rescue organisation SecondBite are working together to help make this Christmas a cheerier time for people in need.
Feel good food for all
As the days sneak up to Christmas, there’s a large group of people across the country determined to make this time of year as joyful as possible for all Australians. “For many who are unable to make ends meet or don’t have people around them, Christmas is an especially difficult time,” says Simone Carson, co-founder of food rescue organisation SecondBite. “Families struggling financially may not be able to put a meal on the table.”
This December, thanks to the Coles Christmas Appeal for SecondBite, the festive season will be brighter for many. “Coles’ support at Christmas time is incredible,” says Simone. “It’s one of our biggest fundraising events of the year and, with 100 per cent of donations going directly to SecondBite, it provides a much-needed boost to help even more people who are hungry.”
"Coles’ support at Christmas time is incredible"
But the giving doesn’t end there: every day across Australia, unsold edible food donations from Coles stores help make thousands of meals for those who might otherwise go without, as part of Coles’ 10-year partnership with SecondBite. “We’re so proud that together we’ve rescued and distributed the equivalent of more than 160 million meals to those doing it tough,” says Simone. In the past year, more than 800 Coles supermarkets donated surplus edible food via SecondBite to about 1400 community food programs.
So how does the excess food get to where it needs to go? Well, that relies on a chain of helping hands to move it from Coles to centres such as Uniting Tranby Engagement Hub in Perth. Along with support for people in crisis, Tranby offers breakfast and lunch seven days a week, as well as fresh fruit and veg.
At Coles Belmont, WA, fresh produce manager Danny Zoghbi supports the SecondBite partnership. “I’m happy to help people because I’m grateful to have a job and a roof over my head. These people don’t and I want to make sure they’re looked after,” he says.
The food that’s distributed via SecondBite to community organisations is used for relief food hampers, mobile soup kitchens, community pantries, school breakfast programs, or onsite meals. “These organisations help the disadvantaged – low-income families, single parents, the elderly, students, people with disabilities, and the homeless,” explains Zoe Fulcher, whose role as SecondBite Agency Coordinator WA involves matching community organisations with SecondBite donors. “The Coles and SecondBite Community Food Program provides food free of charge, which means charities can use funds on other projects,” she adds.
Perth chef Sophie Budd, who runs the Taste Budds Cooking Studio, helps create nutritious meals from donated produce through team-building events she runs for corporate groups. Teams cook with donated fruit and veg, with some of the meals created then taken to Tranby.
Amanda Hunt, CEO of Uniting WA, which operates the Tranby Engagement Hub, says, “Tranby is a place where people can feel safe and respected, and SecondBite and Coles make a huge difference to the lives of people visiting the hub.”
About 170 people come to the centre every day and, come Christmas time, Tranby will again be a hive of activity as volunteers use Coles food to create a little magic in the kitchen. “It’s a really lovely atmosphere,” Amanda says.
How you can help
Purchase a $2 SecondBite donation card at any Coles supermarket checkout in December – your donation is the equivalent of 10 meals for people in need.