How a FareShare meal can change the way someone feels

FareShare aims for nothing less than transformation so when frontline charities use words like “life-changing” and “life-saving” to describe the impact of our meals, we know we are hitting the mark.

Recently FareShare collected feedback from the organisations who hand out our meals to people in need in their communities. From Melbourne to Mornington Island, via Brisbane, Townsville and Cairns, what they told us was both heartbreaking and heartwarming.

Three-quarters of the 123 charities we heard from in Victoria said the need for our nutritious meals had increased – some by up to fivefold – as new groups of people such as stressed mortgagees, the recently-retired, students and working families, can no longer afford the basic costs of living.

At the same time, people already experiencing hardship, family violence or homelessness are needing greater assistance to survive. 

Charities also report feeding more people sleeping in tents, cars and caravans with some still impacted by flood damage. One Gippsland food relief provider reported giving FareShare meals to a mother living in a car with her baby. 

The feedback showed that life is particularly tough on elderly people right now. Those retiring from paid work and moving onto the aged pension are also finding the cost of living overwhelming. Many are reluctantly reaching out to foodbanks for the first time in their lives. For some people, FareShare meals can be the difference between independent living and aged care.

Up and down the country, nutritious ready-to-eat meals are helping more and more Australians impacted by the soaring cost of living on top of other challenges.

Students are one of the new groups creating extra demand for food relief. No longer able to cover their rent, power and food costs on part-time jobs, they are queuing up for FareShare meals to get by.

Norma finds happiness and inspiration in FareShare meals

Life can be tough for single mum Norma, but FareShare meals help make it a little easier.

When she isn’t working as a part-time cleaner, she looks after her son, Kim, who lives with a severe disability. Regular trips to Earth Village in Melton to pick up FareShare meals and other food helps the family survive.

“Your meals make such a difference,” she says.

I feel like there’s a lot of care and love that go into your meals. There are people who need them, people out here that you make happier because of them.

As well as enjoying the taste of dishes like roast chicken and rice, Norma says there are also important health benefits from FareShare meals. “Nutrition is important for my son, to help keep his moods balanced a little.” 

Now despite her daily challenges, Norma has a new goal to help transform other lives. 

“What your volunteers are doing makes me want to do the same. Their generosity, it inspires. It’s infectious. It gives me the urge to follow in their footsteps!” 

FareShare provides meals to families of sick kids

FareShare is partnering with the Children’s Hospital Foundation at the Queensland Children’s Hospital. Each year, our chefs and volunteers will cook over 8,000 nutritious meals for families of sick kids. These will allow families to focus on what’s important: their child’s treatment and recovery, and show that somebody cares. 

We know they’re providing comfort because we just received this heartfelt message from a mother at the hospital:

“I want to thank all of you for the amazing meal. I am eating this warm noodle with honey soy beef meal with gratitude and shedding a few tears while being with my little one in the emergency room. Thank you! The comfort food definitely makes us feel touched in the difficult times.”

Sadly, increasing numbers of children are also being exposed to food insecurity as families are squeezed by the rising costs and mortgage repayments. Goodstart Early Learning in Morwell displays FareShare meals at child eye level in their communal freezer to encourage children to select a meal.

Many of our charity partners praised the nutrition and presentation of FareShare meals and their impact on mental and physical health. Countless used the word ‘’dignity” when describing the quality, packaging and choice provided by FareShare. 

Others even spoke of the ability of a homestyle meal to boost morale, relieve stress and anxiety, and provide vital connection with others.

While FareShare meals cannot solve the causes of food insecurity, they go a long way towards improving the lives of people who experience it. 

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