Maitland shoppers have helped donate more than 44,000 kilograms of food to people in need over the past year.
Now they are being called upon again to help nourish the needy through winter with a fundraising campaign for SecondBite, which redistributes surplus fresh food to community groups.
The initiative, run by Coles, started on July 5 and will run until August 8. Stores at Greeh Hills, Rutherford and Kurri Kurri have already started participating.
SecondBite will share the meals with three local charities including Soupzon, which helps feed the homeless and people in need via a mobile soup van.
The appeal comes after a SecondBite survey found almost 70 per cent of community good groups, charities and welfare agencies were experiencing an increase in demand for their services compared to 12 months earlier. Family breakdowns, social isolation and depression were three of the biggest factors that led to people needing food assistance.
“Across Australia we now work with around 1300 fantastic community groups to distribute surplus food from Coles to people in need,” SecondBite CEO Jim Mullan said.“However, we need funds to pay for our ongoing operating expenses such as fuel, transport and refrigeration so we can deliver this food.
“By donating to SecondBite, people can help us to reach more people experiencing hardship.”
Coles’ Orlando Rodriguez urged shoppers to get behind the winter campaign.
Donation cards are available in store.