The Salvation Army and 7-Eleven Australia working together to rescue food

21 November 2023

With the number of people in need growing rapidly, 7-Eleven and The Salvation Army Australia are working together to rescue food and redirect it to people in need.

Since 2021, approximately $1.26 million in product has been donated from warehouse excess, event stock, coffee connection locations.

In 2022, the food rescue expanded to local level food rescue through the new 7-Eleven Store to Corps program. The Store to Corps program rescues stock from individual stores and redirects it to frontline Salvation Army Corps.  Drinks, milk, treats, meals and bakery items from 16 pilot stores have been donated to Salvation Army Corps in Melbourne, Townsville, Gympie, Cairns, Nowra and Maryborough.

Major Brendan Nottle, The Salvation Army Project 614 Commanding Officer and 7-Eleven Australia CEO and Managing Director celebrated the food rescue milestone and the extension of the Store to Corps program in 2024 at an event in Melbourne.

According to Major Nottle, “in-kind donations help frontline Salvation Army services such as Project 614 support the growing number of people in need due to the increases in the cost of living.

“7-Eleven’s Store to Corps food donations have been providing approximately two lunch services and four dinner services a month to our clients at Project 614 for a number of months now. Across Salvation Army locations nationally, 7-Eleven has donated more than 4,000 individual meals since May this year.

“Being able to sit with someone and offer a coffee, a meal, or a treat gives us the chance to meet their immediate need whether that is hunger, safety, or shelter, and build the relationships needed to address some of the underlying issues.

“While ensuring people have access to meals is critical, to be able to choose a treat does a lot for someone’s dignity and mental wellbeing. The products from 7-Eleven provide a pick me up if someone is having a hard day and our clients look forward to them,” Major Nottle said.

Mr McKay says “We are incredibly proud to have worked with The Salvation Army over the past eight years to support their work and our local communities.

“We are continuing to grow, particularly in the food space. To make a real difference to people and the planet, we wanted to reduce food waste, while not impacting our growth. The Store to Corps program enables us to increase the amount of food we rescue.”

The Store to Corps program has secured a grant from the inaugural 7-Eleven International Grant Fund which supports licensees to enable projects providing global benefit and local impact.

“The Salvation Army local Corps are often limited in their refrigerated and frozen food storage, and the 7-Eleven International grant will help increase capacity enabling more food to be rescued," Mr McKay said.

Major Nottle says that The Salvation Army have a range of ways for people to get involved in their work.

“Organisations like 7-Eleven partnering with The Salvation Army supports us to walk alongside people and make sure no one has to go through tough times alone. Whether it’s a financial contribution, donations in kind, or volunteering, everything helps. It is wonderful to see people and organisations be the good that makes a real difference for someone doing it tough,” Major Nottle concluded.

Image of store manager and member of the Salvation Army with donated food.