Fiji is planning to set up a food bank to supplement its existing poverty alleviation programs.

Permanent Secretary for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Josefa Koroivueta, has told Radio Australia's the Social Welfare Ministry has surveyed areas to find where the assistance is most needed.

"These identified communities have been based on a credible World Bank study that was able to depict where the poverty communities are distributed in Fiji," he said.

Dr Koroivueta who is heading the plans for the food bank says the initiative will be set up mainly on the country's two main islands due to the logistics involved.

It is hoped that food will be donated by local businesses and food distributors.

"We have a store house where food-based organisations or industries, and that includes wholesalers, retailers and processors, that would come in a good Samaritan way to donate food items to the organisations," Dr Koroivueta said.

The new initiative will not involve the government.

"It will be set up within an NGO and we have willing NGOs who are willing to basically store this (food) and to distribute to the needed families," Dr Koroivueta said.

He says while there are similar systems in Fiji, the new food banking initiative will ensure the supply is continuous and of good quality.

The initiative is based on Pillar 8 of the People's Charter, which states government's commitment to reducing poverty to a negligible level by 2014.

The food bank is set to open in about a month.


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