Using their Volunteering Day with the Foodbank NSW and ACT Distribution Centre, the Finance team discovered a lot about themselves while also learning more about those in need.
Each year, the Financial Control and Treasury team in Finance commits to utilising Volunteer Leave to reach out and give back to the community. This year, the team decided on Foodbank NSW and ACT Distribution Centre.
Located nearby, this large distribution centre is a not-for-profit organisation that acts as a pantry to the charities and community groups that feed the hungry. Foodbank sources its supplies from the surplus stock of farmers, manufacturers and retailers.
“It was great to see suppliers and supermarkets giving away so much food to the Foodbank which then gets distributed to so many charities,” said Dilani Jayasekera, Financial Reporting Accountant.
The team started their morning with induction and training, where Volunteer Manager Luke spoke of families who find themselves in financial crisis either by incurring large unexpected bills or a parent losing their job, or those in rural communities where drought or crop failures can take months or years to recover from.
“These charities can have such a massive impact on both the physical and mental health of the people in need by providing a nourishing meal in a safe environment,” said Klara Lyons, Group Accounting Manager.
“It really makes me appreciate what we have a lot more than I normally would,” added Komal Patel, Financial Reporting Officer.
Working in pairs, the team packed items for the country orders – charities outside of the Sydney metro area in need of supplies. The Foodbank warehouse has a diverse range of supplies available to the charities including some perishable items such as bread and potatoes and many non-perishable items.
Each team was responsible for picking the orders from the shelves and then loading onto the pallet which was then transferred onto the trucks that afternoon.
“It was really motivating for us to know that the work we did that morning would enable a charity to provide a meal to someone in less than 24 hours,” Klara said.
“There were many volunteers – both corporate and individuals – and there was great interaction on the warehouse floor as the experienced volunteers helped us rookies with the Tetris style of packing pallets and also manoeuvring our pallets with the pallet jack. This is a skill!”
Clare Jeffries, Director Financial Control and Treasury, felt the experience really opened the team’s eyes to the diverse range of people who benefit from Foodbank’s services and the tremendous work that needs to happen by organisations to reach out to those in need.
“I would highly recommend staff to use their volunteer days. It was a fantastic experience to work together and we really felt a sense of achievement after we completed our orders.”