Coles has announced it will donate $1 million a week in food to help Australians who are facing hardship as a result of the Coronavirus.
The food donations will be directed to food relief organisations, Foodbank and SecondBite, which will in turn distribute the food to up to 3800 community food programs across Australia.
Coles Group CEO Steven Cain said the decision to increase Coles’ food donations was in response to increasing demand for food relief from vulnerable Australians.
“For many years, we have donated surplus edible food from our supermarkets and distribution centres but sadly we are hearing that an increasing number of people in our community are facing particularly tough times as a flow-on effect of the Coronavirus,” he said.
“It goes to the heart of our strategy which is to feed all Australians and help them lead healthier, happier lives.”
SecondBite CEO Jim Mullan welcomed the additional food donations. “A key issue for us at the moment is keeping up with the growing demand. Coles currently donates surplus food from around 780 supermarkets and these additional donations from its distribution centres will help us to reach an increasing number of people in need,” he said.
Foodbank CEO Brianna Casey said the combination of drought, bushfires and Coronavirus had placed unprecedented pressure on the charity’s food supplies.
The announcement comes after Coles introduced a dedicated ‘community hour’ at its supermarkets to improve access to essential groceries for the elderly and disadvantaged during the period of unprecedented demand.