Sunday Territorian

Cash shortage hampers vital work

- Zoe Smith sydneycomm­unityfound­ation­stralia

He is one of Australia’s most passionate and hardworkin­g charity bosses, bringing food and disaster relief to those in desperate need.

Amar Singh, the president and co-founder of the Sikhled Turbans 4 Australia, is calling for help as he battles to make a difference in the lives of Aussies who are being smashed by the soaring cost of living.

The 2023 Australian of the Year Local Hero has issued an urgent call for muchneeded state government funding so he and his team of tireless volunteers can continue to provide for the needy.

The charity boss, who runs programs in Queensland, NSW and Victoria, delivers between 450 and 500 hampers a week to those in need from his warehouse in Sydney’s west.

The charity is inundated with calls every week from people whose lives are being crushed by a lack of money for food on top of rising mortgage costs and fuel prices.

“Our food hamper program just exploded after the lockdown ended,” Mr Singh said. “We thought people were not going to require so much support but with the cost of living going up, people are still lining up outside our warehouse.

“So many people are facing food insecurity — people are lining up for over an hour just to get a hamper. So that shows just how severe the need is.”

Turbans 4 Australia has not received any state government funding since the Covid-19 lockdowns, he said, and the dire lack of cash had impacted the charity’s new Community Kitchen project. Mr Singh has been forced to delay the building of a commercial kitchen at his warehouse for the project, which would see volunteers preparing and serving hot meals to the disadvanta­ged.

Turbans 4 Australia has partnered with Sydney Community Foundation to start a sub fund to raise money to help the charity continue its life-changing work.

Turbans 4 Australia is hoping to raise $150,000 through the sub fund before June 30.

 ?? ?? Amar Singh, the president and co-founder of the Sikh-led Turbans 4 Australia. Picture: Robert Pozo
Amar Singh, the president and co-founder of the Sikh-led Turbans 4 Australia. Picture: Robert Pozo

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