FLOOD-affected residents in Logan and Beenleigh have received six tonnes of fresh food thanks to a group of hard-working volunteers and a Queensland Government funding initiative designed to help people survive homelessness with dignity.
SecondBite, a food rescue service that redistributes surplus fresh food to community organisations, received a $310,000 funding boost from the first round of the Palaszczuk Government’s Dignity First Fund to expand their operations with two new vehicles.
Visiting the SecondBite warehouse yesterday, Member for Lytton Joan Pease thanked the organisation for their flood relief efforts.
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“The work that SecondBite does every day makes such a huge difference to vulnerable Queenslanders, but when disasters strike, it becomes so clear just how valuable volunteers are to our community,” Ms Pease said.
“The recent floods in southeast Queensland have meant that many people have been displaced from their homes, and fresh food has been difficult to obtain in some places.
“But thanks to SecondBite volunteers, people in flood damaged locations like Logan and Beenleigh have been able to access six tonnes of fresh food that would otherwise have been wasted.”
SecondBite CEO Jim Mullan said Dignity First funding has already had a big impact on SecondBite’s ability to help more Queenslanders who are disadvantaged and vulnerable, including those experiencing homelessness.
“The new 8 pallet truck has enabled some large-scale food donations,” Mr Mullan said.
“In just one month the new truck has rescued enough fresh produce to provide the equivalent of an additional 130,000 nutritious meals for Queenslanders in need.
“The impact of more rescued and redistributed food is immediate and profound.
“We are delighted that this Queensland Government funding has helped us scale our food relief operations so quickly.”
Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni said a second new vehicle funded through Dignity First, a 4 pallet food collection van received this week, would be put to work immediately, with plans to expand operations into regional and rural Queensland.
“SecondBite have already been able to receive bulk farm gate donations with their new truck,” Mr de Brenni said.
“In the next few weeks, fifteen new retail stores will be added to SecondBite’s food donor network with collections commencing at all these new stores within two months.”
Another Dignity First recipient, Orange Sky Laundry, has been providing laundry services in Mackay, the Whitsundays, and now Rockhampton.
“Dignity First funding isn’t a lot of money, but the impact it’s having on affected communities is huge,” Mr de Brenni said.
“It goes to show how much Queenslanders can do with some good ideas, a little bit of money, and a lot of heart.”