It’s almost impossible to overstate the work that charities do for our communities – particularly for people and families doing it tough. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is putting extra demand on charities. The people who work in our communities also live in our communities. That’s why the ability to give back is so important to them.

In Western Australia, our people are supporting a charity that’s particularly close to their hearts: Foodbank WA. It’s the third year the team has supported Foodbank.

WA State Manager Jackie Shervington said the team had an additional sense of purpose this year, in light of the ongoing crisis that is affecting so many people’s lives.

‘It’s been a great – and poignant – opportunity to help out such a worth charity,’ she said.

‘It’s also been great for our team – it’s their first real chance to come together as a team since the pandemic began.

The team were put to work in the warehouse, preparing hampers for Foodbank to deliver to people experiencing hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the right approvals (and social distancing measures) in place, the team formed a human conveyor belt – unpacking pallets of food donated by Woolworths, which were then reallocated into small food parcels.

The team made sure the human conveyor belt never slowed down, finishing the day with a tidy 10 pallets, or 500 boxes and hampers, ready to be delivered to those in need.

And while the importance of Foodbank’s work was always front-of-mind for the team, it was also a boost for team morale: the opportunity to come back together, as a team.

‘The day was full of laughs, as the team shared stories from lockdown and reflected on “the old days” in the office together,’ said Jackie.

AGL and Foodbank have a strong history. Over the past few years, we have joined forces for the AGL Metres for Meals initiative alongside another of our WA partners, the West Coast Eagles.

Given the impacts of COVID-19 on the AFL season this year, we've also donated $20,000 upfront to Foodbank WA, bringing our total donations to the charity to around $90,000.


Giving back

Volunteering – and giving back to the community more broadly – is important to AGL. It delivers positive social outcomes for the community – and, as the WA team have shown, volunteering as a group benefits teams through boosted morale, better relationships, and smoother teamwork.

We give all our people a day of paid volunteering leave each year through our Power to Give program, which connects our people to volunteering opportunities across 1,500 charities.

Our people also donate to charities through the Power to Give program – and we match those donations and fundraising events dollar-for-dollar. In FY19 alone, donations and fundraisers reached more than $356,000 dollars (including our contribution).

Our purpose is progress for life – but we know that progress isn’t always shared equally within society. Through opportunities like volunteering for worthy organisations like Foodbank WA, we can help build communities that are more inclusive and prosperous for all.