Foodbank Australia’s 2020 Hunger Report says people seeking food relief has doubled between 2019 (15%) to 2020 (31%), and we’re not surprised.

Our teams are seeing a huge increase in demand and are providing support for people who have not experienced food insecurity before.

In addition, two in five (42%) people were already experiencing food insecurity pre-COVID on low incomes or pensions, including some of our senior community housing tenants. At BaptistCare Clinton Place, Goulburn, senior tenants have thankfully secured affordable housing, but many are still doing all they can to stretch their dollar including skipping meals and missing vital components of a balanced diet.

Thanks to a new partnership with Woolworths (via the Canberra Region Joint Organisation’s food donation network), and the generosity of a local bakery, BaptistCare tenants in Goulburn are now receiving free cuts of meat, eggs, grocery items, bread and pastries.

Joan Holding, Tailored Support Coordinator at Clinton Place collects the food three times a week and sees firsthand the wonderful impact it has on tenants’ wellbeing.

“Our tenants have been overwhelmed by the generosity of local businesses. It’s a great help to them financially with additional benefits like ensuring access to healthy serves of protein, bread and eggs, as well as some treats like pastries and sandwiches,” said Joan.

“Some tenants don’t have a car so me being able to collect food and make it available onsite is also a great help. Going into town isn’t always easy for them, while keeping away from the shops when we see COVID-19 in our local area has also been important.”

Joan says having the food available onsite is helpful for a few of the tenants who have been hesitant about asking for it. “We know sometimes people may feel a bit embarrassed about seeking assistance with food; or they tend to think there’s someone in more need than they are. Having the food here and available for tenants when they need it means they can access extra food anytime.”

As well as filling cupboards, food being diverted from landfills is another great outcome. “Rescuing good quality food from landfill contributes to reducing greenhouse gases and is better for our environment. It’s a win-win when it can be of great value to others,” says Joan. 

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