Community Shopping Hour
To help support the elderly and people with a disability, we introduced a dedicated community shopping hour as a temporary measure to help these customers obtain the essential items they needed in a less crowded environment and at the beginning of the day straight after overnight cleaning had taken place.
Due to popular demand this special shopping hour was extended to emergency services and healthcare workers
Support for hunger relief charities
Between March and July, each of our major food relief partners broke their individual records for distribution of food to vulnerable Australians. Woolworths massively increased our support for our major food relief partners, OzHarvest, Foodbank and FareShare during this time, investing an extra $8.26 million dollars worth of direct support through cash donations, purchased food donations, labour and logistics, to ensure each of our partners could scale up to meet the growing demand.
A team of 122 ALH Chefs were made available to FareShare to replace their suspended volunteer workforce. Together with $100,000 per week in fresh food donations, this enabled FareShare to prepare over 500,000 fresh meals per month in May, June and July.
Woolworths Basics Boxes
Rapid development of a bundled grocery offer, providing the pantry basics for people unable to shop in store, due to COVID-19 isolation or physical distancing. 46,000 Woolworths Basic Boxes were packed and distributed across the nation.
More than half of these, 23,080 Woolworths Basic Boxes were donated to our hunger relief charity partners, as well as scores of smaller local charity agencies to support vulnerable, isolated an impacted people in their community.
Supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations
We gave logistical support to transport approximately 6,500 Basic Boxes to remote communities quickly.
We worked with organisations who reached out to us, big and small, to understand their needs and provide a combination of food and/or donations, or alternatives to increase supply.
Bread & Butter Project
We partnered with Australia’s first social enterprise bakery to introduce their bread into Woolworths Metro stores after the business was impacted by reduced supply to restaurants and Food Service.
This enabled the Bread & Butter project to continue to invest 100% of their profits into helping shape the lives of those seeking refuge and asylum through training and employment opportunities in Sydney.
Support for Melbourne Towers residents
Woolworths Foodbank and FareShare teamed up to support over 3,000 residents in lockdown.
14,000 freshly cooked meals and hundreds of Woolworths Basics Boxes were directly donated on site.
Whilst a 40-strong team local Woolworths stores set up a nearby store as hamper packing zone, with 4,500 bags of food filled with pantry staples being packed and donated within hours of lockdown.
A six-week campaign asked Woolworths customers to help feed a family in need by making a $2 donation at checkout or when shopping online. Woolworths kicked off the Appeal with a $100,000 donation, equivalent to 200,000 meals.
Together, Woolworths and FareShare’s Feed Appeal raised over $1.5 million which has been distributed via 52 grants to uban, rural and regional food relief agencies covering every Australian State and Territory.
This included the first ever Feed Appeal grant awarded in the Northern Territory. With the Tangentyere Council Aboriginal Corporation receiving a $50,000 Major Rural Grant to support 10,000 residents of Town Camps in central Australia.
Share the Dignity
Woolworths and Share the Dignity’s August 2020 Drive raised awareness and donations for Australian women facing period poverty.
The charity has reported a 54% uplift in requests for fem-care donations compared to pre-COVID-19 times.
Through our August Dignity Drive 99,511 period and incontinence products were donated in Woolworths stores, and this product was then provided to women and girls in need.
Woolworths also provides financial support to Share the Dignity, assisting with their operating costs.
Woolworths 6th Annual OzHarvest Christmas Appeal – the biggest ever
2020 has been a challenging year for so many Australians. Twice as many people are now requiring food relief assistance from local charities at least once per week, and these charities are seeing demand increase by an average of 47%. That is why it is so important for Woolworths to help sustain and continuously grow the capacity of our key food relief partners like OzHarvest.
So this year, for our 6th Annual OzHarvest Christmas Appeal, we have tripled our fundraising target from $1 million to $3 million, to help OzHarvest provide 6 million more meals for Australians in need next year.
Woolworths donated the first $500,000 and asked customers to “round up” their shopping transaction in-store to the nearest dollar, with 100% of funds going to the OzHarvest Christmas Appeal.
Every 50 cents donated will help OzHarvest to provide another meal to someone in need. Woolworths donate on average 300,000 kilograms of fresh surplus food to OzHarvest every month, which they then distribute, directly and free of charge, to over 1,300 local charities across Australia.
Helping those who stayed at home
Woolworths partnered with last-mile couriers like Uber, Sherpa, and Drive Yello, to increase the number of delivery windows for tens of thousands of customers each week.
This created additional supply and employment opportunities for fulfilment partners.
Converting supermarkets to online delivery hubs
During the stay at home periods, Woolworths converted some supermarkets to online delivery hubs to pick and dispatch tens of thousands more weekly online orders to customers in the surrounding suburbs.
This included online orders for the most vulnerable in the community through Woolworths’ Priority Assistance service and supported those staying at home.
Support for local communities
Helping impacted in-store fundraising
Charity partners whose fundraising campaigns were cancelled due to COVID-19, were not impacted financially as the Group made donations to the equivalent value, with a total of $1.5 million donated.
Created 20,000 new roles
During the peak buying period Woolworths created thousands of jobs, helping those who were unemployed or stood down during the pandemic.
The new hires allowed Woolworths to better meet the unprecedented demand for food and drinks across Australia.
It also helped increase online operations, to support the changing shopping needs of the community, as the health crisis unfolded.
As a large number of our Metro Branded stores are located near hospitals and nursing homes, we offered free coffee to all healthcare workers when they visited our stores.
Support for small suppliers
Woolworths welcomes new suppliers
As a result of COVID-19 restrictions, many smaller suppliers had issues selling their products through normal channels.
Woolworths worked actively with a growing number of smaller egg suppliers to help them through this time. One of the businesses Woolworths welcomed was Hilltops Free Range Eggs (Boorowa NSW). Hilltop Eggs were ranged in 8 stores in the ACT.
In addition, Woolworths expanded the range in store from existing suppliers, with additional eggs usually sold to food service customers currently available in many of our stores, and even some quail eggs made available in selected NSW and VIC stores.
Endeavour Drinks Group fast-tracked 350 independent suppliers and thousands of products into stores
Many independent producers were hit particularly hard with COVID-19 restrictions, with bars, restaurants and cellar doors closing and exports dwindling.
Traditionally, new products and suppliers only enter retail stores during yearly range reviews, but as part of an initiative to support the industry, in two months BWS and Dan Murphy’s fasttracked over 350 new suppliers and thousands of new products to its online and bricks and mortar stores.
In March, Endeavour Group also temporarily reduced its payment terms to small suppliers and businesses to a maximum of 14 days. This initiative has been extended until 5 April 2021, when it will be reassessed.