Foodbank SA and Kere to Country announce new partnership 

[by Jenny Hassam]


Jessica Wishart. Image: supplied

Aboriginal led and run social enterprise, Kere to Country, and Foodbank SA are pleased to announce they have entered into a strategic partnership to support long term food security in Alice Springs via the Alice Springs Food Hub to be launched 1 July 2021.


Kere to Country specialises in the provision of fresh meat to Aboriginal communities in a sustainable and cost-effective way both in Alice Springs and surrounding communities, where food quality and affordability remains a significant issue.


The Foodbank Food Hub will offer allow low income families a place to access items at an affordable price thanks to Newmont Australia’s recent donation of $250,000 donation as part of the Newmont Global Community Support Fund.


The Food Hub will enable Foodbank to distribute up to an additional 250,000 kg for those in need in the region in the first 12 months of operation, equivalent to an additional 500,000 meals for families in need, and this will increase further in the second year.


It is estimated that 1.2 million people cannot regularly provide themselves with a culturally appropriate, safe and nutritious food supply from a non-emergency source.


The Foodbank Food Hub will be set up like a general store where those in need can have a dignified shopping experience and purchase items at a significantly reduced cost, with all fruit and vegetables free of charge.


“At present the CEO of Kere to Country, Jessica Wishart, and I are meeting with agencies servicing Alice Springs to consult with community, elders, ministers, the business community and other charities,” said Greg Pattinson, CEO, Foodbank South Australia.


“The Alice Springs Food Hub will enable agencies to refer their clients who are in need of food relief, reducing the burden placed on agencies caused by the rising level of need.”


Jessica Wishart, CEO, Kere to Country says that Alice Springs and its surrounding areas are in desperate need of this support.

“Every day families are going without, and the COVID pandemic has exacerbated the situation even further.


“It’s important that the Food Hub is a place of safety for our First Nations people. If communities feel that they’ve been listened to, that they are welcomed and that we understand their needs they will use the Hub and their families will benefit.


“Providing fresh meat in bulk, particularly beef and sheep, is an extremely cost-effective way of purchasing meat for families. We’ve had a very enthusiastic response from communities we’ve consulted with.


“Food insecurity is a massive issue in our communities, particularly in remote Aboriginal Communities.


“Kere to Country look forward to working with Foodbank in this space, ensuring accessibility and culturally appropriate service delivery for all.”


The opening of the Foodbank Alice Springs Food Hub will also enable the delivery of nutritional education. These sessions will provide basic cooking and nutrition information to families.


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