Fresh from the factory to Food Share - dairy goodness going to families doing it tough


Families across Victoria’s south west in need of emergency food relief will now see fresh milk in their Warrnambool and District Food Share hampers, with the first donations made from Fonterra’s Cobden plant. 

Each week, Fonterra will donate Woolworths Own brand milk – enough to meet emergency food relief needs – fresh from the factory to Warrnambool and District Food Share to be distributed via a network of schools, churches and partner welfare agencies to children and families in need in the region.

As a not-for-profit, the Warrnambool and District Food Share relies largely on local supermarkets to donate fresh produce to make up its hampers and until recently, was having to buy staples like milk to meet the shortfall in contributions from local shops.

Dedy Friebe, Warrnambool and District Food Share Executive Officer says this new partnership with Fonterra will make a huge difference to their service as they no longer have to worry about how they will get milk into every hamper.  

“Fonterra’s fresh milk donation forms an important part of our ‘staple food guarantee’ – which means that every single hamper that goes out to families doing it tough will be sure to include essential items like fresh milk, eggs and rice,” says Dedy.

“In October we got 500 hampers out to families struggling to put food on the table. With this weekly donation from Fonterra, we’re now able to have fresh milk in every one of those boxes arriving at someone’s door.”

Warrnambool and District Food Share is staffed by volunteers, like the Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell and her team, who help in the warehouse monthly. Dedy approached Roma to see if she could assist in helping to secure fresh milk as a staple in every hamper.

“My team and I have helped pack many hampers in the warehouse of the Warrnambool and District Food Share and I know how much they really depend on the contributions of local businesses to make up what is going out to families in need,” says Roma.

“I’m proud I’ve been able to work to link up Food Share and Fonterra to ensure that every food relief hamper will now have fresh milk in it, is a great result for so many people in our south-west community,” says Roma.

“Food Share is doing great work supporting vulnerable people in our community, I’m proud to be able to support them in that work, both through our regular volunteering spot and helping to get a regular fresh milk supply.” 

Since hearing their local Food Share had been going without fresh milk in its emergency food relief packs for some time, Fonterra’s Cobden team has been committed to turning that around.

“Milk is a key staple for Australian households – we couldn’t imagine not giving fresh milk to our kids. All of us who work at Cobden also live in south-west Victoria so we genuinely want to help people around us doing it tough,” says Andrew Westlake from Fonterra’s fresh milk Cobden plant.

“Every litre of milk that will now form part of the Warrnambool and District Food Share emergency hampers will help bring the goodness of dairy to families right across our community, even the most vulnerable.”

Each Warrnambool and District Food Share hamper is packed with fresh produce such as fruit and vegetables, dairy, bread and other grocery items, providing much needed emergency food assistance – enough for three to four days – for families in need across Victoria’s south west.