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A new partnership between ready to eat meal manufacturer Australian Wholefoods and community organisations Baptcare, AnglicareSA, Hutt St Centre and Latin American Society SA will help provide food packages to people doing it tough in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With an oversupply of their food products, Australian Wholefoods were exploring ways to donate and distribute hundreds of meals to South Australian families in need.

Curiously, the partnership was initiated by Baptcare Community Project Manager Anne-Marie Bozic following a by-chance conversation at her local park.

“I was recently at my local dog park when a young man brought in a couple of big trays of lasagne for everyone to share,” Ms Bozic said.

“After getting into conversation it turned out his father’s employer, Australian Wholefoods at Salisbury South, had an oversupply of food they needed to shift and no one to shift them to.

“Recently, I’d been working with food supply agencies during COVID-19, so I knew I had the connections to help get some of this food to community members in need.”

Australian Wholefoods Commercial Manager Karen James said the meal manufacturer has a history of donating extra stock to charities.

Baptcare reached out to AnglicareSA and Hutt Street Centre, which both provide meals to those experiencing homelessness and hardship on a daily basis. Meanwhile, Latin American Society SA are supporting around 500 people including students and those who do not qualify for welfare support.

AnglicareSA Manager Community Financial Services, Astra Fleetwood said right now there are many South Australians struggling to decide whether to pay the utilities bill or feed their children.

“The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is pushing more families into poverty,” Ms Fleetwood said.

“While it’s important that we continue to provide these people with long-term support, they also need immediate help with basic necessities and vital supplies such as food.

“It’s partnerships like this that can really make a difference in the lives of those in crisis.”

This partnership highlights the power of community in times of need and how a simple conversation has resulted in hundreds of people being able to access food during COVID-19.

Astra Fleetwood – AnglicareSA, Matthew English – Australian Wholefoods, Anne-Marie Bozic – Baptcare, Eduardo Donoso – Latin American Society of South Australia