CLOSE to 315,000 rice meals will make their way to the plates of those that need it most and its all due to the region’s growers.
Twenty-two tonnes of Riverina-grown rice made its way from Leeton to Sydney this week to hunger-relief charity Foodbank.
The donation will be split between Foodbank’s Melbourne and Sydney distribution centres and will then be disseminated to a variety of frontline charities serving both metro and country communities, including a number across the Riverina.
Foodbank’s 2016 Hunger Report revealed people in regional and remote areas were 11 per cent more likely to experience frequent “food insecurity” than their city counterparts.
More than a third of the rice donation will find its way back to rural areas.
Foodbank produce manager in the MIA Lou Revelant said the donation could not have been made at a better time.
“It’s extremely helpful at the moment,” he said.
“There’s actually a shortage of potatoes, so this donation is quite handy in that we’ll substitute the rice for that.
“The need is certainly still there and this donation is fantastic.
“SunRice and Foodbank have developed a really good partnership with each other.”
The donation was still able to be made possible even though this year’s rice crop was smaller than usual as a result of low water allocations.
SunRice general manager of grower services and agronomic development, Tom Howard, said 2016 marked the fourth year the company had helped out.
”The Riverina rice supply chain has joined forces to support Foodbank,” he said.
“It is also reassuring to know rice grown in regional NSW and donated to Foodbank will help those in need across (rural) communities.”
Foodbank is the largest hunger relief organisation in Australia, providing food supplies to a range of frontline charities and community groups.
The majority of the agencies that Foodbank support provide assistance to low income families and single parent families.