Not everyone in our liveable city is looking forward to Christmas. For those living below the poverty line it means extra anxiety around food.
Just up the road from FareShare, the Richmond Churches Food Centre hands out food parcels to around 370 people facing serious disadvantage every week. They are men, women and children who share one thing in common: poverty.
Please help by donating to our Christmas Appeal to address the urgent problems of food poverty.
FareShare delivers rescued food and cooked meals to the churches’ food centre around three times a week. Last year we provided the charity with more than 86 tonnes of food including fresh fruit and vegetables, dry goods, eggs and our savoury pastries.
Over the past six years, the number of people receiving food from the centre has trebled. Tammy Glavinovic who manages the food relief program told FareShare: “We are seeing more and more people. We have got bigger and bigger.”
Some visitors, like Harry, have medical conditions and are unable to work. He lives in a boarding house for men he describes as a “last resort to living on the streets”. He visits the centre once a week and is able to sustain himself on the food provided.
“I’ve got to keep eating healthy food,” he says. “I can live on this.”
The Poverty in Australia Report 2016 revealed last month that more than 13 per cent of the Australian population now lives below the poverty line including some 731,000 children.
The Foodbank Hunger Report 2016 echoes the tragedy. It found growing numbers of people asking community food banks for help. Here in Victoria, food charities reported an average 32 per cent more food was needed to meet demand.
Crippling housing costs, cuts to benefits and some wages unable to provide an adequate living are all making food poverty worse.
Please help if you can by making a tax deductible donation to help us alleviate the scourge of food poverty on our doorstep.