Coles and SecondBite achieve significant milestone to assist Australians in need of food.

April 4, 2023

Coles and SecondBite achieve significant milestone to assist Australians in need of food

Since 2011, unsold, edible food has been used to give more than 200 million meals .

Today, Coles and SecondBite celebrate a major achievement by donating the equivalent of 200 million meals made from food that was not sold but was still edible and could have gone to waste.

In addition to providing healthy meals for thousands of Australians in need, the milestone—achieved over the course of the 12-year partnership—has allowed for the rescue of more than 100 million kilogrammes of unsold food from Coles stores.

Coles distribution centres have given SecondBite an additional two million kilogrammes of food, or enough for four million meals, as well as bulk donations to satisfy the extra demand brought on by the COVID pandemic.

The achievement was celebrated in the brand-new “zero waste, zero emissions” kitchen of the Addison Road Community Organization in Marrickville, New South Wales.

The group, fondly referred to as “Addi Road,” is one of roughly 1,100 SecondBite community food partners throughout Australia that uses Coles food that has been rescued to make wholesome meals, stock local food pantries, and give food hampers to those in need.

The achievement of 200 million meals, according to Coles General Manager of Sustainability Brooke Donnelly, is a major step in Coles’ goal to reduce food waste.

We’re extremely proud to achieve this milestone of having donated the equivalent of 200 million meals to SecondBite over the course of 12 years, said Coles. “Coles’ partnership with SecondBite is instrumental in achieving our purpose to sustainably help all Australians lead healthier, happier lives,” she said.

We’re also excited to commemorate this achievement with Addi Road, a shining illustration of our collaboration with SecondBite on sustainability and community support.

In addition to offering healthy meals made from food saved from Coles and SecondBite for five years, Addi Road has also used a $165,000 Coles Nurture Fund grant to advance sustainability by establishing a “zero waste zero emissions” kitchen and turning edible food waste into meals for the poor.

By including a production component, the Coles Nurture Fund initiative has improved Addi Road’s food rescue and redistribution model, resulting in a circular economy for rescued food. They now use the food they have saved but cannot disperse through their Community Food Pantry to prepare wholesome ready-to-eat meals.

Coles’ food donations have been particularly appreciated lately, according to Julian Martin, Chair of SecondBite, as demand for their services has risen.

The 200 million meals milestone in our collaboration with Coles “shows both the growing need and our growing capacity to assist Aussies in need,” he said.

“Every single item donated counts – and means less waste to landfill,” Coles states. “From fresh produce to the grocery aisle and the food chilling in Coles’ fridges and freezers.”

We will keep doing everything we can, along with Coles, to make sure that leftover, wholesome food reaches those who need it most.

Rosanna Barbero, CEO of Addi Road, expressed her organisation’s joy at taking part in the milestone festivities for serving 200 million meals.

We have seen personally how much this partnership is required to support vulnerable members of our community, so Addi Road is thrilled to participate in Coles’ 200 million meals milestone celebration with SecondBite, she said.

With the help of our Coles Nurture Fund grant, we are also overjoyed to have finished our solar-powered, “zero waste, zero emissions” kitchen. Everyone who has eaten a meal prepared in our new kitchen has warmly welcomed our infrastructure improvements, and we are extremely pleased to be setting the example for creating a more sustainable future for our neighbourhood.

The biggest free food rescue organisation in Australia, SecondBite, collaborates with producers, distributors, and retailers to rescue and distribute excess food to community organizations, institutions of higher learning, charitable foundations, and for-profit businesses like Addi Road.

Food waste and food insecurity have been handled since Coles and SecondBite teamed up in 2011. Over the past ten years, the partnership has gradually expanded to include more than 1,100 community food programmes nationwide and over 800 Coles supermarkets.