Four members from Navy Headquarters-South Queensland (NHQ-SQ) rolled their sleeves up and volunteered to help the needy in August. Working alongside other local volunteers, the team unpacked pallets of food into large ready-use containers, for numerous charitable organisations to access.
Volunteers were coordinated by Foodbank, the largest hunger-relief organisation in Queensland. The organisation provided enough food for 13.2 million meals last year alone. The concept of Foodbank is simple - to feed the country’s needy by redistributing surplus food.
Chief Petty Officer Paul Cannard was part of the Navy team involved and said it was great to be a part of such a community-focused activity.
"I've never done this before, but I might become a regular volunteer as I can really see how we are making a difference to those in need," Chief Petty Officer Cannard said.
Ms Nicci Skerl, office manager at the Morningside facility said that Foodbank has only been in Australia since 1992 and has distribution centres located in each state capital cities.
"Over the years the Queensland Foodbank has grown that much that it is by far the busiest distribution centre in Australia,” she said.
Foodbank rely on the generosity of food growers, manufacturers and large supermarkets, which offload good quality foodstuffs, that for whatever reason can not be sold to the public such as products that have been incorrectly labelled or a line that has been trialled, or simply, produce that does not meet specifications.
During the course of the morning NHQ-SQ staff had the opportunity to meet with the General Manager, Mr Ken McMillan and some of the organisation leaders who access Foodbank on a regular basis. Mr Phillip Hoy from St Vincent De Paul in Goodna-Kenmore and Mr Jim Bennett from St Burnett Pantry, Kingaroy both praised the NHQ-SQ members for the assistance at Foodbank.
"If it wasn’t for Foodbank, the people that my organisation supports would be a lot worse off,” said Mr Bennett.