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Groundbreaking merger between SecondBite and FareShare

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The number of meals for Australians facing hardship is set to increase as SecondBite and FareShare merge to broaden impact. 

In a transformative move for the food rescue and relief sector, SecondBite and FareShare have announced they will merge on 1 July, 2024. 

SecondBite’s research has found almost half (48%) of all Australians have skipped at least one meal a week due to economic/financial reasons. With food insecurity growing dramatically across the country, the need for organisations operating in the food rescue and relief industry to work together to address these challenges is greater than ever. 

SecondBite CEO Daniel Moorfield said in initiating a merger, both organisations had identified strong operational and values alignment. 

“Combining the incredible community-led culture of FareShare with the national scale and heartfelt reach of SecondBite will enable a single solution for providing free, nutritious food to communities who need it most,” said Moorfield.  

“It will enable growth, resulting in a greater supply of food, as well as a more tailored approach, where the need is greatest.” 

Founded in 2001, FareShare operates Australia’s largest non-profit kitchens in Melbourne and Brisbane which transforms rescued and donated food, as well as produce grown on their own farms, into approximately two million delicious, nutritious meals for people in need, every year. 

Meals cooked by FareShare chefs and volunteers are distributed to agencies and charities to feed people experiencing food insecurity, including hundreds of thousands of ready-to-eat meals to First Nations communities in Queensland and New South Wales. 

Founded in 2005, SecondBite was borne out of a realisation that perfectly healthy, edible food was being discarded and farmers and retailers, while millions of people faced hunger through food insecurity. 

Related: SecondBite Expands Warehouse to Boost Food Relief and Cut Waste in Queensland

With operations in every state and territory, SecondBite works with farmers, retailers and manufacturers to harness approximately 25 million kilograms of surplus quality produce every year, providing it to more than 1000 charity partners supporting their communities experiencing food insecurity. 

Food insecurity impacts the quality of life and the prospects of millions of Australians, with many people experiencing complex challenges such as chronic illness, disability, and poor mental health, among others. Despite the sustained efforts of many volunteers, charities, businesses and governments, food insecurity in our country continues to rise.  

Moorfield said the merger was a timely and logical next step for the two organisations after many years of collaboration at Board, executive and operational levels – including a longstanding commitment by SecondBite to supply ingredients with which FareShare cooks meals for SecondBite to distribute through its network. 

“FareShare and SecondBite have long recognised the complementary nature of each organisation; realising that working together enables increased support to those in the community who need it most,” he said. 

“I am excited to see what the future holds for the food rescue and relief sector, and our fellow sector partners as we continue to collaborate through advocacy, innovation and transformation, responding to the ever-increasing need and changes in the complexity of issues.” 

FareShare Vice Board Chair Sandy Dudakov OAM highlighted that the merger would transform the sector.  

“FareShare meals can be distributed nationally in the community utilising the existing SecondBite network. Front-line agencies will have the convenience of a single delivery providing SecondBite food and FareShare meals,” said Dudakov. 

“Our reach will be wider, and our ability to provide more nutritious meals to many more people will be vastly improved.” 

Coles and Woolworths – SecondBite and FareShare’s major food and financial donors, strongly support the merger. 

“My hope is that this merger will inspire even greater collaboration between all members of the food relief sector,” added Dudakov. 

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Menchie Khairuddin is a writer Deputy Content Manager at Akolade and content producer for Third Sector News. She is passionate about social affairs specifically in mixed, multicultural heritage and not-for-profit organisations.

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