A MAJOR food processing company will donate at least a quarter of a million meals to support food relief organisations during COVID-19.
Last month, McCain Foods ANZ announced it will donate at least 250,000 meals to food relief organisations across Australia and New Zealand over the coming months to help support communities facing food security challenges during coronavirus pandemic.
The donation will be shared between charities across Australia and New Zealand including its long standing partner Foodbank, but also Fareshare Victoria, Second Bite Australia, Empower Australia, Nourished for Nil, Salvation Army, 0800 Hungry and Oxford Community Trust.
McCain Foods is a privately-owned Canadian company headquartered in Toronto. It employs 21,000 people, operating 52 production facilities on six continents.
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McCain Foods regional president, Louis Wolthers, said that the spike in retail demand for frozen food would be reflected in the charitable sector.
"People have been stocking up with frozen foods in preparation for lockdown, and food relief organisations are no different, in that they also need a stable supply of frozen vegetables and meals as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic escalate," Mr Wolthers said.
"Given the scale of the need, we're very pleased to have the opportunity to support these reputable charities, which provide such important support to our local communities.
"Our donation includes frozen McCain ready meals and pizzas, as well as chips, vegetables and Sara Lee desserts to complement the meal.
"This certainly makes sense for us, and it's something our people are proud of. McCain is hoping this donation will help to remind Australians and New Zealanders of the importance of staying connected. We're in this together, after all," Mr Wolthers said.
Foodbank Australia CEO, Brianna Casey, said the donation will be well received amongst the many Australians it is supporting currently.
"We are so grateful for this incredibly generous donation of frozen food from McCain, one of our long- standing national donors who have supported us regularly through thick and thin," Ms Casey said.
"Foodbank has seen a 50 per cent increase in demand for food and grocery relief due to job loss and small business closures across the country and donations such as these are critical to help vulnerable Australians now and for as long as it takes for our country to recover from the effects of COVID-19."