Food charities merge in bid to tackle growing hunger crisis

Posted on 14 May 2024

By Greg Thom, journalist, Institute of Community Directors Australia

Second Bite CEO Daniel Moorfield

Two of Australia’s biggest food relief agencies have announced they will combine their efforts under one banner.

The merger between SecondBite and FareShare will come into effect from July 1.

The announcement comes as food relief charities face unprecedented demand from Australians hit hard by the cost-of-living crisis.

Research by SecondBite found almost half (48%) of all Australians have skipped at least one meal a week because of financial pressure.

With food insecurity growing across the country, SecondBite CEO Daniel Moorfield said the need for organisations operating in the food rescue and relief sector to work together to address these challenges was greater than ever.

“Combining the incredible community-led culture of FareShare with the national scale and heartfelt reach of SecondBite will enable a single solution for providing free, nutritious food to communities who need it most,” said Mr Moorfield.

“It will enable growth, resulting in a greater supply of food, as well as a more tailored approach where the need is greatest.”

The merger received support from supermarket giants Coles and Woolworths, who are major food and financial donors to both food relief charities.

FareShare was founded in 2001 and operates Australia’s largest not-for-profit kitchens in Melbourne and Brisbane.

The organisation transforms rescued and donated food, as well as produce grown on its own farms, into more than two million nutritious meals for people in need every year.

Meals cooked by FareShare chefs and volunteers are distributed to agencies and charities to feed people experiencing food insecurity, including thousands of people in First Nations communities in Queensland and New South Wales.

SecondBite was founded in 2005 to bridge the gap between healthy, edible food discarded, farmers and retailers, and the millions of struggling Australians going hungry.

The organisation operates Australia-wide, working with farmers, retailers and manufacturers to redirect an estimated 25 million kilograms of surplus quality produce every year via more than 1000 charity partners who support communities experiencing food insecurity.

Second Bite and Fare Share
“Frontline agencies will have the convenience of a single delivery providing SecondBite food and FareShare meals.”
FareShare vice board chair Sandy Dudakov.

Mr Moorfield said the merger was a timely and logical next step for the two organisations after many years of collaboration at the board, executive and operational levels.

This collaboration included a longstanding commitment by SecondBite to supply ingredients with which FareShare cooks meals for SecondBite to distribute through its network.

FareShare vice board chair, Sandy Dudakov
FareShare vice board chair Sandy Dudakov.

“FareShare and SecondBite have long recognised the complementary nature of each organisation, realising that working together enables increased support to those in the community who need it most,” said Mr Moorfield.

“I am excited to see what the future holds for the food rescue and relief sector and our fellow sector partners as we continue to collaborate through advocacy, innovation and transformation, responding to the ever-increasing need and changes in the complexity of issues.”

FareShare’s vice board chair, Sandy Dudakov OAM, said the merger would transform the sector, with FareShare meals soon able to be distributed nationally in the community via SecondBite’s existing network.

“Frontline agencies will have the convenience of a single delivery providing SecondBite food and FareShare meals,” said Ms Dudakov.

“Our reach will be wider and our ability to provide more nutritious meals to many more people will be vastly improved.

“My hope is that this merger will inspire even greater collaboration between all members of the food relief sector.”

More information

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