Char­i­ties de­mand out­paces sup­ply

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Per­era

A high level of de­mand for emer­gency food re­lief has Kar­ratha char­i­ties con­cerned they may not be able to keep up sup­ply in the lead-up to the hol­i­day pe­riod, as fund­ing runs short.

Last month, Pil­bara Com­mu­nity Le­gal Ser­vice chief ex­ec­u­tive Nanette Wil­liams said the ser­vice was “con­stantly” re­ceiv­ing re­quests for emer­gency food re­lief from its Kar­ratha Emer­gency Re­lief Or­gan­i­sa­tion-funded sup­ply, and de­mand had reached the point where its lat­est round of fund­ing had run out half­way through the as­signed six-month al­lo­ca­tion pe­riod.

That has left them with no food to give be­tween Au­gust and the end of Novem­ber, be­sides what ad­di­tional one-off do­na­tions from lo­cal char­i­ties have been able to pro­vide.

“We are over-al­lo­cated ... the de­mand has been that high that in­stead of al­lo­cat­ing our monthly al­lo­ca­tion, we’ve gone over it,” she said.

“So there­fore we couldn’t al­lo­cate in Au­gust, we can’t al­lo­cate in Septem­ber or Oc­to­ber.

“The de­mand was greater than the funds.”

The Sal­va­tion Army Kar­ratha was forced to call for com­mu­nity as­sis­tance in April this year af­ter de­mand for emer­gency food sup­plies dur­ing the Christ­mas pe­riod de­pleted its bud­get months in ad­vance.

Sal­va­tion Army Kar­ratha cap­tain Niall Gib­son said de­mand lev­els had re­mained about the same and ad­mit­ted “the same thing could hap­pen this year”, though the charity was hop­ing to avoid that by set­ting up do­na­tion ar­range­ments with su­per­mar­kets and food cages in Kar­ratha City Shop­ping Cen­tre, early on.

“If we don’t, we’ll run out of food again next year,” he said.

Capt. Gib­son said its food sup­ply ser­vice was help­ing an av­er­age of four fam­i­lies a week at the mo­ment, though a re­duc­tion in its op­er­at­ing hours may be putting strain on other emer­gency re­lief groups in town.

Mrs Wil­liams said she hoped to get a food dis­tri­bu­tion cen­tre such as Food­bank WA into the re­gion, as part of a so­cial jus­tice com­plex that PCLS is plan­ning to build in the Kar­ratha CBD.

She said the lack of re­sources put re­lief ser­vices such as PCLS in a dif­fi­cult po­si­tion.

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