GPT’s Michael Camerson (right) and Chris Bertinshaw of the Parramatta Mission

28 September 2010 – The GPT Group has launched its GPT food recovery program at its retail and communities precinct, Rouse Hill Town Centre as part of a five year partnership with Parramatta Mission to collect food from retailers and redistribute to people who are disadvantaged in Western Sydney.

The GPT program will see the GPT food recovery van collect left over fresh food from Rouse Hill Town Centre retailers, which is then made into meals and served to those in need via the Parramatta Mission’s facilities. The program hopes to provide Western Sydney with up to one million meals per year.

With a recent study from the University of Western Sydney revealing that 20 per cent of the population of Western Sydney is food insecure, GPT chief executive officer and managing director Michael Cameron said the food recovery program is part of the Group’s obligation to support the communities in which GPT owns real estate.

“GPT is one of Australia’s largest property groups so we take our role as a responsible corporate citizen very seriously. We believe we have an obligation to support the communities in which our business operates. As part of this goal, we are delighted to be working with Parramatta Mission on this important initiative which will make a positive difference to many local residents and families,” said Mr Cameron.

General manager of Parramatta Mission Chris Bertinshaw said that higher interest rates and utility costs are forcing many in Western Sydney over the poverty line.

“With over 40 years of experience in delivering community aid to people in need in Western Sydney, Parramatta Mission is ideally placed to partner with GPT to successfully implement the GPT food recovery program in this region,” Mr Bertinshaw said.

“People all over Western Sydney are being impacted by higher rents, interest rates and utility costs, forcing growing numbers below the poverty line and making Western Sydney one of the most disadvantaged areas in NSW. Families and individuals are really struggling to keep a roof over their heads and put food on the table, so we are happy GPT is piloting its program in this community.”

If the pilot program at Rouse Hill Town Centre is successful, the GPT food recovery program will roll out across the GPT retail network.

To find out more about supporting Parramatta Mission in providing aid to those living in hardship in Western Sydney communities visit www.parramattamission.org.au.