For most of us, hunger relief conjures up images of developing nations, but in fact Australia has a hidden hunger problem. One in six of us go hungry at some point in the year. More than 644,000 Australians receive food relief each month, one third of whom are children. A further 43,000 are denied help every month because demand is outpacing supply—and that demand just keeps on rising.
With a health and wellbeing mission at our core, an enduring ethos to make food that is nourishing, affordable and accessible for all Australians, Sanitarium has for almost two decades supported efforts to combat food and nutrition insecurity at home. It is a national supporter of Foodbank Australia, the country’s largest hunger relief organisation, which acts as a “pantry” to 2,500 welfare agencies across the country. In August 2016, Sanitarium announced a pledge to Foodbank of one million serves of Weet-Bix— the company’s largest single donation to any food relief charity.
As well as providing regular support to Foodbank, Sanitarium participates in many of its awareness-raising activities. In 2011, to coincide with World Food Day, Foodbank unveiled a replica of the Sydney Harbour Bridge constructed of donated food to highlight our hunger crisis. The structure included 146 boxes of Weet-Bix, donated by Sanitarium. Charities later collected the food for distribution to needy Australians. In October 2015, Sanitarium employees volunteered at the Foodbank NSW/ACT fundraising Big Breakfast in Martin Place to coincide with Anti-Poverty Week and World Food Day.