Engineers Australia Northern Division is proud to announce their support of Australia’s largest food relief organisation, Foodbank NT in organising a canned food drive with a twist.
Now it its second year of operation, the ‘Structural Support’ program supports Foodbank NT by calling on the public to, in teams, create structures made from canned food which is then collected by Engineers Australia and donated to Foodbank NT for distribution.
Participating teams were required to take photos of their structures which were submitted to Engineers Australia and Foodbank NT for sharing on the Engineers Australia social media channels.
The 2020 instalment of the initiative exceeded expectations with a raft of teams featuring engineering organisations and students donating a total of 2082 food items, weighing a total of 908kg, to Foodbank NT.
Foodbank NT’s Chief Executive Officer, Peter Pilt says there are several beneficiaries of the program who are need as a result of the impact of COVID-19.
“We help people who are food insecure, including a number of remote communities and school,” said Pilt. “There has been a massive spike in demand resulting from COVID. In May along, the requirement for meals was up from (approx.) 31,000 to 86,000 in the NT.
“There are 13,000 homeless people in the NT, 4,500 of which are children.
“No one in Australia should go hungry, but they do. Community engagement makes all the difference.”
Pilt says community programs such as ‘Structural Support’ are crucial in helping achieve the overall goal of Foodbank NT.
“We couldn’t do it without community support,” he said. “Programs such as ‘Structural Support’ are empowering us to help vulnerable Territorians.”
The minimum target for the canned food drive was 500 cans and featured a wish list of non-perishable food items including tinned meat, spaghetti, tinned vegetables, long-life pasta sauce, rice and dry pasta.
The 2019 instalment of the initiative saw over 750 cans donated to the cause from nine participating local businesses.
Engineers Australia Northern Division General Manager, Keely Quinn said:
“There has been a great negative impact as a result of COVID-19 on the NT community, including not-for-profit initiatives such as Foodbank NT,” said Quinn. “Representatives of the Engineers Australia Northern Territory Committee approached us with their concerns and offered a suggestion to help alleviate this issue in the form of the ‘Structural Support’ program.
“The purpose of ‘Structural Support’ is to call on the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the NT community in a way that helps support those in need.
“I’d like to thank all of the generous participants in this year’s Structural Support initiative who contributed to such a positive result for Foodbank NT.”
Participating organisations included AECOM, ADG, Charles Darwin University, GHD, HK Solutions, and Turner & Townsend.