A Rotary Club of
Canterbury Initiative

FORaMEAL Meals Packed
Total FORaMEAL distributed (for FREE!)

2025 Corporate, Schools & Uni Packing Days Applications now open


FORaMEAL, a project of the Rotary Club of Canterbury is an initiative to help provide emergency relief meals for those impacted by natural disasters. Each year over 250,000 meals are provided free of charge to vulnerable individuals and families across the Asia Pacific region in times of disaster. To date, over 1,100,000 meals have been distributed for FREE! 

In 2020 -2021 the Rotary Club of Canterbury decided to redirect part of our FORaMEAL effort to help the most vulnerable in the Stage 4 COVID-19 restrictions in Melbourne. Our aim simple – to provide 100,000 nutritious meals to vulnerable Victorians. To date, more than 200,000 meals have been distributed as part of our FORaMEAL COVID-19 response. Our efforts were recognised by the Victorian Government as well as the Victorian Multicultural in the Multicultural Award for Excellence 2020 in the category of Community Innovation – a prize shared with our major FORaMEAL Partner – M.A.T.E.S. for Change Australia. You can find a link to the VMC Award for Excellence here

In 2022, another 200,000 meals were sent to the flood affected regions in the Philippines and to the front lines of Ukraine. We thank the Australian Defence Force and the Ukrainian Association of Melbourne for making this happen! In 2023, another 350,000 meals were sent to Europe, Asia and Africa. 

Our Process

— We focus on nutrition

As a biochemist, Dr. Doug Hawley designed and formulated the FORaMEAL packs to include a balanced and nutritious blend of carbohydrates, important fats and proteins together with a sachet of essential vitamins and minerals.

— We fund every meal

97% of every dollar we raise for the FORaMEAL project goes into the producing, packaging and delivering the meal itself. Everyone on the FORaMEAL project volunteers their time, experience and expertise to this cause. 

2.5% of funds raised + GST is paid to Rotary Australia World Community Service Ltd. (RAWCS) for administering the donations. 

— We locally source every meal

Money raised and in-kind donations are used to purchase, from Australian suppliers, the three core ingredients – oats, lentils and rice, together with essential vitamins and minerals. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our Major Sponsors in donating core ingredients and/or funds for our FORaMEAL packs. 

— We pack every meal

Each year, volunteers from across the Rotary network produce, seal and box approximately 250,000 meals for distribution the following year. To date over 3,000 volunteers from over 35 schools, universities, clubs and associations have contributed to the FORaMEAL cause.

— We donate every meal

The meals packed have been sent abroad to vulnerable communities in S.E.Asia. as well as to the frontlines of Ukraine through the ADF in 2022-2023. 

— We build community & trust

In addition to the FORaMEAL packs, the project offers us the opportunity to strengthen community trust, mutual understanding and the Aussie Spirit of Mateship. All our sponsors, volunteers and the FORaMEAL team feel just as blessed as those who receive the FORaMEAL packs. 

Who We Are

The Rotary Club of Canterbury has been serving our local & international communities since 1987. We have an active social and project program. Our members love being part of our Club and enjoy participating in all our activities.

Our Club President for 2016-17, Dr. Doug Hawley OAM, together with the support of the Club started the FORaMEAL Project. Each year the FORaMEAL project delivers 150,000 meals to individuals and families in disaster affected regions across South East Asia. 

In 2020 – 2021, the Club, together with the FORaMEAL Committee decided to quickly act to fulfil this needs within the community and as a result we have set a goal of providing 100,000 nutritious meal packs during the current COVID-19 crisis. By August 2021, over 200,000 meals were packed and distributed as part of our COVID-19 response. 

In 2022 – 2023, the FORaMEAL team decided to redirect 50% of our food packs to the ongoing humanitarian crisis unfolding in Ukraine. To date, over 150,000 meals have been packed and distributed to children, families and the brave men and women of Ukraine who are fighting to defend their homes and livelihoods and country.  

Working with community groups such as REFUGEE COMMUNITIES ASSOCIATION OF AUSTRALIA Inc as well as M.A.T.E.S. for Change Australia Inc we hope to get these simple, yet needed meals to those most in need. 

Doug Hawley, Past President and Founder of the FORaMEAL project. 

Our Impact So Far

Dr. Doug Hawley OAM
FORaMEAL Founder

Despite its simplicity, FORaMEAL is important because it gives a nutritious meal free of charge to people in need during a crisis. We live in such a great country with opportunity, security and prosperity abound. Yet, it gives me great pain to see vulnerable families and individuals without enough food, support and hope during this Stage 4 lockdown. FORaMEAL is our Club’s simple way of bringing hope to those most in need during this time of crisis. 

Mr. Bwe Thay
Victorian Multicultural Commissioner

The Rotary Club of Canterbury must be recognised and commended for their efforts in supporting our fellow multicultural Australians in this difficult time.  The FORaMEAL project is both practical and significant. The capacity to make available 100,000 meals over the Stage 4 lockdown will bring hope to many disadvantaged members of our multicultural community. On behalf of the VMC, I would like thank the Rotary Club of Canterbury and the FORaMEAL team in stepping up during this difficult time. 


Working together to make a difference