In the spirit of Christmas, Navy personnel and their families from across the Fleet have donated hundreds of food items for redistribution via welfare groups to the community’s poorest and most needy members.
HMAS Kuttabul conducted the initiative throughout November and December in conjunction with Foodbank NSW, a community supported, not-for-profit food relief agency.
Leading Seaman Michael Peterson, a Steward from Kuttabul's First Fleet Mess, said it was important to show solidarity with our fellow human beings, particularly during special times like Christmas.
“There has been a really good showing of community spirit and empathy from so many personnel; I think every member who has donated to this cause has done the Royal Australian Navy and the wider community they live in proud.
“Everyone was incredibly generous and the drop off point was anonymous, however there was a notable effort from the sailors at Kuttabul's Personnel Support Unit.
“We received much needed long lasting, well packaged food items – everything from staples of tinned baked beans, cans of tuna and packets of pasta to treats such as chocolates and packet cake mixes,” said LS Peterson.
This year was the first time Kuttabul and Foodbank NSW worked together on a food drive. The CEO, Mr Geoff Anderson, said Foodbank is essentially the ‘pantry’ to the welfare sector supporting a wide range of charities from the Salvation Army to Mission Australia and so on.
“We have a ‘mini supermarket’ in our warehouse where representatives from welfare agencies can come in to shop and collect what they need, which is a particularly good arrangement for the smaller charities.
“This year we have helped around 68,000 people across NSW and the ACT and nationally the organisation has distributed some 26,000 tons of food.
“This great contribution from Navy has gone towards helping who have a tough time at Christmas including low income families, unemployed, single parent families and those who were effected by the bushfires this year," said Mr Anderson.
“We’re looking forward to working with Kuttabul again and extending the relationship with Navy."