Coles has now donated the equivalent of 100 million meals to disadvantaged Australians in a landmark milestone for its partnership with food rescue organisation, SecondBite.

Making Coles one of Australia’s largest donors of fresh food, Coles has donated and diverted 50 million kilograms of healthy nutritious food from landfill since 2011

With three million Australians currently living below the poverty line, including three quarters of a million children1, Coles now donates unsold food from 780 supermarkets across Australia. The food is collected by SecondBite and then distributed to around 1,300 community food programs across the country.

Coles CEO Steven Cain said Coles is committed to doing more than ever before to ensure edible, unsold food is getting to communities who need it most.

“Sadly, we’re seeing an increasing number of people living on our streets and facing tough times.  Homelessness and disadvantage are major concerns in our cities and towns and it’s alarming to think there are so many men, women, families and children who cannot afford to have regular meals,” said Cain.

“Our partnership with SecondBite goes to the heart of Coles’ purpose to sustainably feed all Australians and help them live healthier and happier lives.  The unsold food SecondBite rescues from our stores is still perfectly good to eat and should not go to waste - we will continue to do everything we can to ensure it gets to the people who need it most.”

SecondBite CEO Jim Mullan said the organisation’s national partnership with Coles had been instrumental in delivering more food to community organisations.

“It’s incredible to see how our partnership with Coles has grown over the years and the impact this has had on some of the most vulnerable people in our community,” Mullan said.

“Many shoppers wouldn’t be aware of the work that goes on behind the scenes to ensure edible unsold food ends up on the plates of those in need, rather than in landfill.  We are proud to work with an organisation that is a clear leader with respect to both its social and environmental responsibilities.”

“It’s amazing to think that in our first full year of partnership in 2011, together we rescued and redistributed the equivalent of 1.9 million meals which we thought was huge at the time. But now, nine years later, we have distributed the equivalent of 100 million meals.  We are so grateful that this partnership can continue to grow through increasing food donations and incredible fundraising activities throughout the year in stores.”

Kate Thwaites MP, Federal Member for Jagajaga, congratulated SecondBite and Coles on the milestone.

“Secondbite and Coles are ensuring that food produce does not go to waste and many thousands of vulnerable people across Australia have access to meals. Congratulations to them on this milestone,” said Thwaites.

“It’s great to have the SecondBite distribution centre based in our community in West Heidelberg, supporting efforts to get unsold, edible food to people who need it.”