SOUTNERN Ports has partnered with hunger relief charity Foodbank WA to provide 50,000 meals to families in need across the Albany, Bunbury and Esperance regions.

The meal hampers, which will be distributed by Foodbank WA and its regional partners over the next 12 months, will support families in need of emergency assistance.

Southern Ports CEO Keith Wilks expressed his gratitude to Foodbank for the vital work it does to ensure regional families get the access to essentials to live.

“Almost all of our staff live and work in our regions – they’re part of the community. So being able to make a positive contribution and a real difference to local people and local families, it matters to us. It’s why we’re so proud to do what we can to support organisations like Foodbank at a regional level,” Mr Wilks said.

“We’ve supported Foodbank in small ways previously, but this year we’ve embarked on a more significant partnership to boost outcomes and feed as many families as we can.”

Foodbank WA CEO Kate O’Hara explained the need for supporters like Southern Ports to provide assistance, particularly in regional Western Australia.

“We believe that no one should go hungry and strive to ensure that everyone has food on their table and Southern Ports is helping us to do this,” Ms O’Hara said.

“Over the past year we have seen a significant growth in need for our services as the rising cost of living pressures are directly impacting families in the regions.”

Ms O’Hara said Foodbank’s regional branches in Albany and Bunbury are expanding our mobile van service to cater for those that cannot access our branch directly.

“In other areas we’re partnering with local teams like Esperance Care Services to deliver the hampers and other items,” she said.

“Thanks to the support of Southern Ports, we’re now able to have hampers and packaged items available to families who we know are skipping meals to counter the growing pressures of the cost of essentials.”

The emergency relief available from Foodbank WA consists of hampers with everyday items such as fresh fruit and vegetables and pantry essentials, as well as snack packs and protein items.

Foodbank WA is the largest hunger relief charity in the state and is the pantry to the charity sector, linking surplus goods and groceries to people in need.