Like many retailers, the 7-Eleven Australia team is dealing with the challenges of COVID-19 including temporary store closures for deep cleaning or team members or delivery drivers having to isolate. These impacts mean there was a risk of fresh food going to waste. Thanks to the help of The Salvation Army Australia, thousands of food items that couldn’t be delivered to stores have instead gone to The Salvation Army Australia to help people doing it tough.

According to 7-Eleven CEO and Managing Director, Angus McKay, being able to support local communities while keeping people safe is incredibly important to the 7-Eleven team.

“Keeping our team members and communities safe while providing essentials in people’s local neighbourhoods is our key priority,” Mr McKay said.

“Our approach is that as soon as there is a risk, we immediately close and deep clean a store, and then support impacted team members to isolate until there’s a negative test result, or as advised by the relevant state health department.

“Because we deliver fresh food into every store in our network every day, if a particular store is closed for deep cleaning during the delivery window, it means that stock that is already packed for that store needs to go somewhere. Thanks to the help of our friends at The Salvation Army, our team has been able to redirect more than 4,000 meals and about three truckloads of milk, snacks, sushi, fruit and treats in the last month.

“7-Eleven has been working with The Salvation Army since 2014, starting with a coffee machine donation at the Melbourne Project 614 Magpies’ Nest Café. In July, the free coffee service in the café poured its two millionth cup of coffee.

“Through working with the team at the Salvos, we’ve learnt that it isn’t just the meal, the cup of coffee, or the treat alone that makes a difference to people.

“It’s the knowledge that someone cares, the surprise of an unexpected treat in a box of essentials to bring a smile to a person’s face, and most importantly the chance for the Salvos to make a connection that could be the start of helping support someone to get back on their feet.

“We are honoured to assist the team at the Salvos with their work to support Australians in need,” Mr McKay said.

The Salvation Army’s NSW Public Relations Secretary, Major David Collinson, says more Australians than ever are in need of support.

“All Australians are feeling the impacts of COVID-19, but some are doing it particularly tough as they struggle with food insecurity, homelessness, domestic violence, or mental health issues.”

“Just like the challenges the 7-Eleven team are facing as they work to serve their customers safely, it is also a difficult time for us operationally as our team and volunteers have to operate our services in a COVIDSafe way.

“Having access to prepacked sandwiches, salads, sushi, hot pastries, yoghurt, milk, fruit, pre-prepared meals, and sweet treats like muffins, cakes and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, really supplements the food options we have available to provide through our facilities and services and to our partner organisations.

“Australians are always willing to do something to help someone doing it tough, and at times like this the generosity of individuals and organisations makes an incredible difference to people needing support.

“People don’t only get access to food when they might have gone hungry, they also get some hope from the fact that someone is thinking of them, and they are not going through tough times alone. That kindness makes an incredible difference,” Major Collinson said.

Extracted in full from: 7-Eleven and The Salvation Army redirect thousands of meals to help those in need | 7-Eleven Australia (