Woolworths has pledged at least $250,000 to animal welfare and rescue organisations caring for wildlife impacted by bushfires across the country. The funding will allow the supermarket's store teams to stand together with local animal shelters to provide critical financial support.
$10,000 has already been donated to support those working to save Kangaroo Island's wildlife in South Australia and local store teams are contacting shelters in impacted regions to understand what further support is required on the ground. Woolworths stores will provide practical support with donations of surplus food where possible.
Woolworths has also engaged WIRES and WWF, and is committed to supporting them in their bushfire recovery efforts.
Woolworths Managing Director for Supermarkets Claire Peters said: 'The impact of these bushfires on Australian wildlife has been truly shocking.
'Our customers have asked us if there is anything more we can do both financially and through the donation of surplus food to help impacted animals.
'While we already have food diversion programs in place at all our stores with hunger relief agencies and farmers, we're looking for opportunities to donate any remaining surplus food to animal shelters after honouring our existing commitments.
'We trust our financial commitment, which will support animal welfare organisations both large and small, will help make a meaningful and immediate difference in helping wildlife displaced by this devastating bushfire season.'
This commitment to animal welfare comes on top of the financial and logistical support Woolworths is providing to stand together with its long term partner The Salvation Army as it assists bushfire impacted communities.
To date, more than $3.7 million has been committed by the Woolworths Group and its customers to support bushfire relief efforts. This includes:
More than $1 million directly to Woolworths store teams in bushfire impacted communities across Australia to help them provide tangible support on the ground to local rural fire crews, charities and customers impacted by bushfires in their local community.
$1.8 million in customer donations to the S.T.A.N.D (Support Through Australian Natural Disasters) Salvation Army bushfire appeal.
$500,000 additional investment by the Woolworths Group into the S.T.A.N.D (Support Through Australian Natural Disasters) partnership with The Salvation Army.
$200,000 in gift vouchers from BIG W and Woolworths Supermarkets for schools in communities impacted by bushfires. The vouchers will enable schools to provide support to local families and communities impacted by bushfires as kids return for the school year.
BIG W has donated essential household goods and clothing to Good360 to help provide support to charities providing relief to those impacted by the bushfires.
Woolworths has supported the shipment of essential items to at least 12 evacuation centres in various parts of the country over the past few weeks.
Woolworths Group extended paid leave entitlements to four weeks for Enterprise Agreement team members who volunteer for rural fire services.