Key Staples Program

Home / Want to Help? / Donate Food / Key Staples Program

Developing sustainable supply solutions

Donations of food do not always meet demand – in particular, there is a significant gap between the amount of staple foods rescued and what is needed by the charities and community groups to provide filling and nutritious meals.

To address this, Foodbank partners with food companies who donate or subsidise the ingredients and services to produce, process, package, and transport essential items. This collaborative supply approach produces items such as breakfast cereals, pasta and sauce and tinned fruit and vegetables. Financial contributions from the public and corporate sector provide essential funds to cover the elements that cannot be obtained through donations.

To achieve our target of 50 million kilograms of food, Foodbank is keen to work with more of its donor to innovative programs to supply staple products on a sustainable basis.

How the Key Staples Program works:

  • Foodbank and the food manufacturer together identify an appropriate, high priority product from the manufacturer’s current range.
  • The manufacturer agrees to produce the product subject to the donation of inputs with the manufacturer’s regular suppliers (e.g. ingredients and packaging).
  • The manufacturer becomes the ‘Product Lead’ and assists Foodbank with input supplier discussions.
  • Input suppliers are approached and an agreement is reached on the donation of their respective product components. Donations need to be sustainable and not just a very generous ‘one off’ as we need to repeat the program every year. Items that cannot be donated are funded by Foodbank. This way, the cost is shared across the total supply chain of the product i.e. all input costs, processing, and transport.
  • The food manufacturer produces the agreed quantity of product under its own brand name, according to its standard specifications, using donated components and fitting around its own commercial production schedules (keeping it efficient – no new packaging or recipes needed).
  • The finished product is transported to Foodbank warehouses for distribution to welfare agencies.
  • Foodbank seeks every opportunity to publicise the availability of the product and acknowledge the role of the manufacturer and all the partners in its own publications and via media releases and other publicity channels.
  • The manufacturer has the opportunity to turn its involvement into a company-wide event, enabling employees and other stakeholders to share in the good work that’s being done.

The Key Staples Program at work

Foodbank requires 800 tonnes of pasta each year to meet demand, so…

The above example demonstrates how the load is shared across all participants in the supply chain of the product. This minimises each donor’s costs, which means it’s a sustainable proposition.

For those facing hunger, we produced pasta for 8 million meals.

For the financial donors, every $1 provided resulted in enough pasta for 26 hearty meals.


If you would like to learn more about the program and how you could help, please contact Foodbank Australia on 02 9887 4144.
Foodbank NSW Foodbank QLD Foodbank VIC Foodbank SA Foodbank NT Foodbank WA Foodbank TAS Foodbank AUS