This month marks the second anniversary of The One Box – a social initiative of The Fruit Box Group that provides fresh fruit, vegies, milk and bread to Australian families in need each week during the school term. It’s a helping hand for families who don’t have access to enough food every week. The social initiative developed after the team at The Fruit Box Group became increasingly aware of Aussie families not having access to fresh food on a regular basis. Foodbank Australia estimates that four million Australians or 18% of the population have experienced food insecurity in the last 12 months and that children represent 22% of all food-insecure Australians*. With these stats in mind, we have developed a program that aims to alleviate food insecurity on our doorstep – The One Box.
“In a plentiful country like Australia, it’s shocking that so many families are going without. We believe that one box of fresh produce each week can make a real difference to families in need, hopefully creating a healthy foundation for children now and having a lifetime influence on health.” Marty Halphen, CEO and Founder of The Fruit Box Group.
At the heart of The One Box is ‘to think global and act local’ and we are very proud of the impact that The One Box has had in just two short years. By the end of 2019, we will have delivered 103,000 boxes or approximately 1.3 million kilograms of fresh produce to families across the country. Our team have been humbled by the positive response to the program by recipient families, community partners and schools. The feedback that we have received from our community partners is nothing short of heart-warming. Kita from St Agnes Primary School provided the following feedback as her school participates in the program this year,
“There have been so many memorable moments – we’ve had tears of happiness and huge smiles from both students and parents/carers. I think the most wonderful thing is the feeling of taking a little bit of weight off struggling families’ shoulders. It is very powerful and shows these families that there are individuals and organisations out there that care and are willing to help when things get tough.”
Recipients of The One Box have also expressed gratitude. Hyam, a recipient of The One Box, said “Having fresh food eases some of the financial stress of feeding a family of five kids. The One Box means there is more food in the house all the time.”
In two years, The One Box has gone from strength to strength – the program is now a registered charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC), we also expanded our research efforts to evaluate the impact of the initiative.
Information about the program is available via the recently launched website and social media platforms to keep our supporters up to date on the journey of The One Box. The website is also accepting donations from interested parties which will be used to directly impact more families each year.
The One Box, with the assistance of The Fruit Box Group and its supporters, are committed to focusing on addressing the underlying issues that contribute to food insecurity including accessibility and affordability. We plan to strengthen our commitment to the community working with agencies and schools to ensure The One Box is available to families in need across Australia.
Thank you to everyone who has supported our journey so far, here’s to another two years of growth for The One Box!
Foodbank Report, 2018.