One of Australia’s leading facilities management organisations has stepped up to help alleviate cost of living pressures affecting vulnerable communities’ access to nutritious and fresh food in some of Australia’s most remote locations.

In late 2023 Sodexo Australia (Sodexo) signed a partnership with non-profit community centre, Nintirri, to donate 45 meals weekly to help feed diabetic community members and at-risk Indigenous Elders living in Tom Price in Western Australia’s Pilbara region. 

Since commencing the program in January 2024, Sodexo has broadened its commitment pledging one million meals delivered to communities where it operates by 2030. 

Sodexo Australia Managing Director, Keith Weston, said:

“As an organisation, we have to do our bit to Stop Hunger. Through partnerships with community, Foodbank, and Traditional Owner organisations we can change this one meal at a time. 

We believe in a reconciled Australia which is promoted through enhanced culturally safe partnerships—seen through our current engagement with organisations such as Nintirri.   

Outside of metro locations inconsistent supply and inflated costs due to freight  has caused Indigenous communities to experience food insecurity. By removing the uncertainty around where their next meal is coming from with our Memorandum of Understanding in Tom Price, we deliver tangible outcomes for at risk members of the community through the Nintirri food security pilot program.”

The Australian Institute of Family Studies report that almost one third of the Indigenous population experience food insecurity in regional and remote areas of Australia. 

Sodexo recognises the growing barriers to accessing nutritious food, and by entering into the Nintirri Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) the organisation commits to enhancing outcomes for individuals who otherwise would struggle to get adequate food on the table.  

To address the need of this disadvantaged group, Community Health Nurse for Nintirri and IBN, Mara Neale, calls for more active corporate role models, like Sodexo. 

Neale said:

“Nintirri’s purpose is to unify community by building resilient places where individuals are supported to live safe, healthy, and empowered lives. 

“We believe in the power of thriving communities, and through partnerships like Sodexo this is made possible. As a non-profit, we rely on businesses and community members looking to make an impact. Although it isn’t a lot to ask, with the current cost of living crisis there are less people able to pitch in and support those experiencing hardship.”  

Sodexo has long been committed to addressing food insecurity among those who are most vulnerable, with a mission to Stop Hunger spanning more than 25 years. Over this time, the organisation has consistently revisited the ways in which it can deliver nutritious, quality food to support the communities where it operates.  

A key component of realising this mission is the dedication of resources, partnerships, and teams that strengthen their community ties within the areas where they operate.

As well as the newly signed MoU with Nintirri, Sodexo is also currently in an agreement with Ngarluma and Yindjibarndi Foundation Limited (NYFL) to invest in the empowerment of Indigenous communities in the Roebourne area. 

A key component of this agreement is providing goods at low or no cost to the 100% Indigenous owned supermarket, Ieramugadu Store Maya.

Sodexo Australia Managing Director, Keith Weston, said: “We have been on a reconciliation journey for more than 15 years. Our Reconciliation Action Plan guides culturally safe initiatives that enables Indigenous Australians to successfully achieve sustainable whole of life outcomes. 

“Our MoU with Nintirri is just the jumping point. We hope to see the impacts of our actions in the coming months and expand our activity beyond our initial engagement.”

The 12-month MoU between Sodexo and Nintirri contributes to the business’ broader commitment to Indigenous Affairs. 

Sodexo’s commitment to replicate the Nintirri food security program in conjunction with its various community partners will introduce dedicated support to some of Australia’s most disadvantaged community groups. 

For more information on Sodexo Australia’s actions to end hunger, visit here.

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