Friday, 12 May 2023
Foodbank Women of Influence Luncheon
I am very pleased to be with you, for the second year at a row, at the Foodbank Women of Influence Luncheon.
As patron of Foodbank SA it is my great pleasure to support the work of this fine organisation.
When I spend time with Foodbank staff, volunteers and supporters, one thing that always strikes me is the level of passion, enthusiasm and dedication they bring to their contributions.
This level of commitment has never been more important.
Foodbank continues to be the largest provider of food relief in the South Australia, supplying more than 70 percent of the food distributed by the welfare sector in our state.
In the past 12 months, the rising cost of living has put additional pressure on already struggling families.
More than 78,000 South Australian children are living in severely food insecure households, missing meals or going whole days without food.
As a mother, I cannot imagine the stress it must cause parents to be unable to properly feed their children.
Approximately 40 percent of the families now coming to Foodbank for support, have never experienced food insecurity before – fuelled by a combination of the rising cost of rent, mortgage repayments, petrol, food and other items.
Thanks to Foodbank, 135,000 South Australians receive the food support they require each month.
I thank each and every one of you for attending today and helping Foodbank in its work.
I thank all the organisations that supply Foodbank with groceries and other goods.
In the past year, Foodbank has saved more than 2.2 million kilograms of food from going to landfill, supporting people in need and protecting the environment at the same time - an outstanding achievement.
You may also have seen the recent announcement that The Centre for Social Impact at Flinders University, in conjunction with Foodbank SA and Green Industries SA, will embark on research to develop ways to take fruit and vegetables that would otherwise rot and turn them into canned goods.
I look forward to seeing the results of this research being applied to further prevent hunger in our community.
Nelson Mandela is reported to have once said, “It always seems impossible until it’s done”.
Let me make an observation, if I may.
As women of influence, you get things done.
You use your energy and your determination. You are generous. You know when there is a need and you are creative about how to meet it. You understand the art of the possible and you make it happen.
I admire Foodbank for its ambitious goal to end hunger here in South Australia, and around the nation and I admire you all for your willingness to get it done.
May we stay true to this vision and not rest until all South Australians have food security.