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As we count down to Christmas, FareShare encourages our generous supporters to consider donating to our Christmas Appeal to address the urgent problem of food poverty.

With three million Australians – including more than 730,000 children – now living below the poverty line, many cannot afford the delicious, nutritious food we take for granted during the festive season.

At this time of giving, we have seen how generosity can change lives and replace crisis with hope.

Ali: "I'm happy now"

Ali: “I’ve started a new life”

Take Ali, a refugee from Iran who arrived in Australia in 2011 in desperate circumstances. He found his way to Kingston City Church and was given food when he needed it most.

Soon he wanted to know how he could help others. Five years on, Ali is still volunteering and has become an integral member of the church’s Emergency Resources team.

Every week FareShare drops off food including fresh veggies, fruit, eggs, dairy and savoury pastries. The centre stores FareShare’s cooked meals for emergencies.

“We never turn anyone away,” says Pastor Joy Hansen who set up Emergency Resources 21 years ago. “If FareShare didn’t exist, we couldn’t do it. The FareShare quiches are probably the most popular.”

Sadly the demand keeps growing and FareShare needs your support to keep up.

Next year the church is building a new warehouse with a walk in cool room and freezer. “We will need heaps more of FareShare’s meals,” said Joy. “FareShare’s frozen meals really help. They also give a single mum or dad a break from cooking.”

About a third of the centre’s volunteers are refugees and former food recipients. For them, receiving is a door to giving.

“People here come for food parcels and end up being volunteers,” says Joy. “Some people have been unemployed, then got experience with us and gone on to get a job. Ali came to receive but he wanted to give back. He asked how he could help.”

In spite of serious health issues, Ali sets up tables, orders and collects food, unloads the van, sorts food and allocates food parcels according to the size of the family.

“I didn’t have a family when I came to Australia. Now all my family is here,” he says pointing to his co-workers. “I’m happy. I’ve started a new life.”

Like Joy and Ali, FareShare believe everyone needs a helping hand out of food poverty. Please consider a tax deductible donation this Christmas and help us spread the nourishment and joy of nutritious food to everyone in our community.