All it takes is a bit of bad luck to find yourself in a queue for food relief – just ask Simon.
“It’s the first time in my situation,” says Simon, who moved to Melbourne from South America many years ago. “Five months ago, the retail shop I was working for closed down. We all got made redundant. I’ve been unemployed ever since.”
Simon’s story is all too common and a sobering reminder that any one of us can fall through the cracks.
The good news is that he remains optimistic, and being able to access FareShare’s free, nutritious meals from places like Empower and Heaven at the Hill around Melbourne’s CBD has been a huge boost.
“You guys have variety, always an amazing mix of veggies and meat. I’ve had your chili con carne, your curry chicken, your chicken with legumes. They were all so good. Whatever you and your chefs are doing, just keep on doing it!”
Simon has tried a number of food relief options, but according to him, none compares to the healthy, delicious meals cooked by FareShare. That’s why he called us to ask where he could get more.
“I’m not looking down at all but, like, a lot of places just give you bread and rice. I feel that wherever I go, everyone’s happy to give out empty carbs, but it’s not substantial. After a while, I’m like sick of bread and rice, I want a change!
“It makes such a big difference to get your meals. I think they are amazing.”
Simon has noticed there are many more in his position since he began visiting food relief charities five months ago.
“Unfortunately, things seem to be getting worse. Whenever I go to get food, I’m seeing more and more people. I see double the amount of people lining up now. In the lines, everyone’s talking about the rising cost of things, how things are getting tougher. That’s all they’re talking about.”
According to Simon, even people holding down full-time jobs are not immune from hardship.
“People tell me they have a job but that they’re still not making enough to eat. To me, if you’re working 40 hours a week, you shouldn’t have to then think where your next meal is coming from.”
Simon is confident his luck will change – he has just finished studying a course at university and updating his resume – and for now is getting by with meal support.
“I’m doing just fine, I’ll survive…. I’m sure I can find my feet again.”
From 16 Aug-13 Sep, Woolworths are generously donating 50c from every homebrand ready meal and asking customers to round up their totals to support FareShare. Learn more here.