I recently had the opportunity to meet with an inspirational person called Michael Rose, who is also the new CEO of FoodBank here in Queensland. Here is what he had to say:
What made you join FoodBank?
Great cause and an opportunity to further my career in many directions at once: CEO role; Not For Profit exposure; Government exposure; marketing and fundraising exposure; food and retail exposure.
What is FoodBank’s greatest asset?
It’s people, stakeholder relationships and reputation as Australia’s biggest and best food relief organisation.
What is FoodBank’s most precious item (ie. meat/milk/fruit) and why?
Red meat. The cost makes the availability of red meat very difficult, but is treated like gold when it is available.
What kind of charities are the largest users of FoodBank? (ie. St Vinnies, Red Cross, etc)
All sorts of charities. Foodbank deals with >250 charities in Qld. Those providing food relief are the biggest users.
The most alarming statistic you have heard so far?
15% of all Australians have suffered from food insecurity in the last 12 months making it likely to be someone in your street or someone you know (but they won’t tell you).
What is your favourite part of the job?
Meeting the highly committed volunteers who do so much for so many less fortunate than themselves; it restores your faith in humanity.
Can you tell us a story which has truly moved you and changed your life and why?
I met a lady at one of our charity partner sites. She had been employed in a good job (senior corporate role), earned good money, but suddenly lost her job. She had several large financial commitments (big house, cars, kids at private schools etc). She found it difficult to get another job. 12 months on, she was sourcing food for her family at one of our agencies. I too had recently lost my job before joining Foodbank and understood her plight firsthand. Thankfully, I had sufficient funds to carry me through. However, I was lucky and found work quickly. I was told it could take much longer. I now understand why 15% of the population admit to being food insecure in the last 12 months. It is not who you think. It can happen to anyone, but in a country like ours, it should not. I now need to help those in that position until this problem is eliminated.
It can happen to any of us, what Michael deals with on a day to day basis is a real struggle for our neighbours, our best friends and family. Let’s all do our part to help change the future for those less fortunate than us. This Christmas, BeefBank.Org is aiming to raise $2000 for 2000 meals. You can help us reach our goal by donating now at beefbank.org/donate.