Foodbank demand on rise
Demand for Peel Foodbank’s emergency food relief has increased by almost 25 per cent in the past year and it appears there is no end in sight.
Peel Foodbank manager Debbie Burns said more people were walking through the store’s front door but the same amount of food was coming in through the back.
“We’ve got a variety of different people coming to us for help. There’s a lot of working poor, single parents, families, older aged people, as well as people who lost their jobs after the mining boom,” she said. “We’re seeing an increase in people coming in with emergency relief vouchers. While they might not get the food they need or want, we never turn anyone away.
“We’re getting up to 140 people coming in every day and it doesn’t look like slowing down.
“We’re really short of fruit and vegetables and simple breakfast cereals like Weet-Bix. We also need simple staples like pasta — especially over winter, we go through lots of pasta.”
Ms Burns said the organisation was encouraging local businesses, community groups and schools to host a Foodbank Food Drive to collect food for those who were struggling for a meal.
“Every little bit helps — if a family who can afford it can donate a can or two a week, it will make a real difference to people in need,” she said.
After launching Foodbank’s 2017 Winter Appeal in May, chief executive Greg Hebble said demand for its services remained among the highest in the State.
“Last financial year, we delivered over 6.4 million meals to people in need — that works out to be more than 26,000 meals a day,” he said. “This allows us to feed 53,000 Western Australians every month, 22,000 of them are children. But demand outstrips supply and more than 7000 people go hungry because we don’t have enough food.
“Sadly, I can’t see the demand for our services ending soon. Demand for food is all year round, as people are really struggling to keep on top of their bills and keep a roof over their heads.
“The good news is every $10 donated can help provide 20 meals.
“For most of us, $10 is what we would spend on lunch or coffee, however we will make this go a long way thanks to our partnerships with farmers, retailers, manufacturers and the Government.”
Visit foodbankwa.org.au or call Ms Burns to organise a food drive on 9581 9200.