General Mills is among the first producers involved in Foodbank Australia's latest production model to combat food insecurity, with its Rooty Hill plant set to produce 10,000 dedicated meals of Latina Fresh pasta each month for the next year for people in need. 

In May, the company announced it would donate 60 pallets – around 45,000 meals – of its Spinach and Ricotta Agnolotti, to support Foodbank Australia and its increase of demand during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of the new Foodbank initiative - the Collaborative Supply Program - General Mills is donating its time and labour to make the product, while suppliers have also donated the raw ingredients and packaging to reduce the cost.

“This model allows us to move beyond important, but unpredictable products diverted from landfill to a constant supply of basic essentials like this premium pasta product from General Mills,” said Foodbank Australia general manager – national supply chain Michael Davidson.

“We’ve seen this model operate to great success with other pantry staples and are excited to see this further extension of our partnership with General Mills come to life.”

“As a world-leader in this field, and the only foodbank globally to be driving a collaborative supply program with food and grocery industry partners, this really sets the standard for other manufacturers and foodbank organisations. It will have a tremendous impact on ensuring we can provide to those in need.”

Within the supply chain to help produce the product is Tullamarine-based Ferraro Dairy Foods, which will supply the ricotta for the pasta filling.

“At Ferraro Dairy, we are always prepared to help families and people in whatever way we can. That’s why it’s great to be involved with this initiative and support people who are hurting in multiple ways,” said Brad Ferraro, general manager at Ferraro Dairy Foods.

General Mills Australia managing director Peter Everett is calling on industry peers to engage in similar partnerships.

“It’s taken a huge effort from our staff putting this together and while it’s tough for our suppliers to make this donation due to COVID-19, we think it’s the perfect time to make that difference and be a force for good given the impact it will achieve at this critical time,” he said.

“The chosen product, chilled, premium Latina Fresh Ricotta and Spinach Agnolotti, takes all of a family’s needs into consideration, being a great source of protein and quick and easy to make for a family meal.”

In addition to the product donation, General Mills is providing Foodbank Australia with a grant of $200,000 to help the food relief organisation respond to the significant increase in community need for food staples during the pandemic.

General Mills ranked in at #59 in the Top 100 Australia Food & Drink Companies 2019 report. 

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