Food shouldn’t be on anybody’s wish list at Christmas. But with more people experiencing food insecurity and approaching charities for help, Victorians are being urged to donate to the Feeding Families Appeal.
Foodbank Victoria and ABC Radio Melbourne have partnered on the public appeal – which will raise funds to purchase and distribute hampers of staple foods across Victoria. From Monday 3 December until Thursday 26 December, we’re encouraging audiences to donate online at www.foodbankvictoria.org.au or your local ABC Radio website.
Just 50 cents will provide a meal for someone in need, and a donation of $25 allows Foodbank to distribute a hamper of healthy pantry essentials that will feed a family for a week. All funds raised will go directly to purchasing these hampers, to ensure pantries can be stocked for those doing it tough leading into the festive season.
“It’s shocking and unacceptable that one in five people in Australia – including children – go hungry each year,” Foodbank Victoria CEO Dave McNamara said.
“Food insecurity affects people of all ages and backgrounds, and increasingly it’s impacting working families who are struggling to pay the bills and put food on the table.”
While 90 per cent of what Foodbank distributes is donated by farmers, manufacturers and retailers, the charity can’t source adequate volumes of staple items such as pasta and cereal. The Feeding Families Appeal will help fill that gap in supply.
ABC Melbourne Breakfast presenter Jacinta Parsons said: “It’s heartbreaking to realise how many families are doing it tough. Food shouldn’t be a luxury in this country. We know our listeners have huge hearts and we hope this appeal will enable Foodbank to distribute many thousands of hampers to Victorians in need.”
The 2018 Foodbank Hunger Report found that four million Australians had experienced food insecurity in the last 12 months. Of these, three million were categorised as having ‘very low food security’ – which means they are regularly skipping meals or going entire days without food.
It’s a common scenario for Mandy-Louise Weber, a single mother of two who was forced to stop work 12 months ago due to a heart condition.
“We’re really, really struggling. I’ve sold anything and everything that’s left of any value to sell in the home just to be able to afford to live at the moment. We end up constantly sick, unwell and just very stressed out,” she said.
Mandy has been an attendee at two of Foodbank’s recent Farms to Families pop-up markets in Ballarat, where fresh fruit and vegetables are distributed free to people in need. She also receives staple foods via one of Foodbank’s 400+ charity partners in Victoria.
“Without Foodbank we’d be lost. We certainly wouldn’t be eating fresh fruit and vegetables, it’s that simple.”