Thou­sands face hunger with­out our help

POST Newspapers - - Christmas Cheer -

WA chief ex­ec­u­tive Greg Heb­ble says hunger is on the rise na­tion­ally.

In the past year, 3.6mil­lion peo­ple re­ported hav­ing ex­pe­ri­enced food in­se­cu­rity and ev­ery month, Food­bank agen­cies all over Aus­tralia helped 652,000 with food re­lief.

Of those peo­ple, 27% were chil­dren (216,000).

And sadly, 65,000 peo­ple are turned away ev­ery month be­cause of food short­ages (14,600 of these are chil­dren).

For those most in need of com­fort at Christ­mas, Mr Heb­ble said, a do­na­tion of $40, $50 or $100 would pro­vide 40, 100 and 200 meals re­spec­tively.

“Fi­nan­cial pres­sures cre­ate dif­fi­cult choices, such as choos­ing be­tween pay­ing bills, keep­ing a roof over your head or buy­ing food,” he said.

“Many go with­out break­fast, lunch and din­ner, or turn to fam­ily and friends for help.

“Reach­ing out for food char­ity is of­ten the last re­sort.”

Mr Heb­ble shared an email from Jen­nifer, a strug­gling sin­gle mum who reached out to Food­bank for help.

“I’ve never done this be­fore, so I’m not sure if I’m ask­ing for help in the right place,” she said.

“But I am seek­ing help in get­ting some food for my chil­dren.

“The bills have all piled up and come in at once.

“With nap­pies, wet wipes and for­mula to buy, I am lucky to have $70 left to do a full week’s shop­ping.

“It is break­ing my heart know­ing that I won’t be able to buy my chil­dren any gifts this Christ­mas and I don’t know how I am go­ing to ex­plain to them on Christ­mas morn­ing why Santa didn’t bring them any­thing.

“I cry just think­ing about it.”

Mr Heb­ble said

Jen­nifer’s case was all too com­mon and Food­bank needed peo­ple’s gen­eros­ity w to pro­vide a mil­lion meals to hun­gry West Aus­tralians.

You can leave non-per­ish­able food not past its use-by date in the giv­ing box at Clare­mont Quar­ter, or take it to Food­bank, 23 Ab­bott

Road, Perth Air­port.

Christ­mas for many peo­ple is a time of food in­se­cu­rity and dis­tress.

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