Grow­ers do­nate to food­bank

Isis Town and Country - - Kolan News -

MEM­BER for Bur­nett Stephen Ben­nett is call­ing on lo­cal pro­duc­ers to join the fight to end to waste and hunger across the state.

Mr Ben­nett, who re­cently toured Queens­land’s largest food re­dis­tri­bu­tion cen­tre, Food­bank, is urg­ing Bund­aberg and Bur­nett pro­duc­ers to get on board and do­nate their sur­plus and sec­ond-grade pro­duce to the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

He said there was far too much wastage of per­fectly ed­i­ble food, in­clud­ing fruit and veg­eta­bles.

“It is a sad fact that a third of all food cur­rently grown in the re­gion is wasted or dumped in land­fill,” he said.

“Most of the fruit and veg­eta­bles thrown out are ei­ther slightly blem­ished or too small for big chain su­per­mar­kets to sell.

“It’s ab­surd that we as­sume a piece of fruit that isn’t ex­actly the right shape, size or colour isn’t nu­tri­tional or has any value.

“We need to start al­le­vi­at­ing the wastage from crops, and if more lo­cal farm­ers do­nated to the food­bank it would go a long way to achiev­ing this sus­tain­able out­come.”

Mr Ben­nett said 400,000 Queens­lan­ders ex­pe­ri­ence food in­se­cu­rity and about half of those were chil­dren.

“It’s sad to think some of the best food is pro­duced right here in the Bund­aberg and Bur­nett re­gion, yet there are so many peo­ple strug­gling to put nu­tri­tious food on their ta­ble ev­ery day,” he said.

“This is a great op­por­tu­nity for lo­cal pro­duc­ers to not only make use of the pro­duce they can’t sell, but give back to the com­mu­nity in a mean­ing­ful way that will un­doubt­edly make a big dif­fer­ence.

“While it’s of­ten as­sumed vul­ner­a­ble groups such as the home­less are re­ly­ing heav­ily on these ser­vices, to­day’s eco­nomic cli­mate means many more peo­ple are turn­ing to char­i­ties for help, in­clud­ing drought-stricken farm­ers, sin­gle par­ents and the el­derly.”

Mr Ben­nett thanked lo­cal pro­duc­ers who were al­ready par­tic­i­pat­ing in the pro­gram.

“I con­grat­u­late Mark and Judy Fritz of M&J Pro­duce who have made a con­scious ef­fort this year to do their bit for the com­mu­nity by do­nat­ing their un­wanted pota­toes to Food­bank,” Mr Ben­nett said.

The farmer joined Mr Ben­nett in en­cour­ag­ing other lo­cal pro­duc­ers to get in­volved in the pro­gram.

“We made an ef­fort this year to do­nate,” Mr Fritz said.

“We thought we would do some­thing for the com­mu­nity and also get peo­ple in­ter­ested in eat­ing fresh food.”

Cross Farms, Snapfresh and Eden Farms are also in­volved in the pro­gram and do­nate their sec­onds to Food­bank.

Mr Ben­nett said it was his long-term vi­sion to es­tab­lish a lo­cal food­bank.

PHOTO: MIKE KNOTT BUN081015FOOD11

FOOD BANK: Bund­aberg Fruit and Veg­etable Grow­ers ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Peter Hock­ings and Mem­ber for Bur­nett Stephen Ben­nett.

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