Firstly, thank you for supporting Foodbank.
This is an extremely difficult time for us in Australia.
The Covid-19 pandemic has dramatically increased the demand for food relief as varying degrees of lockdowns and restrictions have happened around the nation, causing businesses to close and people losing their ability to earn an income. For example, in July, when South Australia, Victoria, and New South Wales were experiencing lockdowns, there were 13.7 million people (more than half of the population of Australia) in lockdown areas. While South Australia and Victoria are no longer under lockdown, the NSW outbreak has been declared a national emergency, and their lockdown has been extended for another four weeks, bringing the total lockdown for affected residents to two months.
While the lockdowns are necessary to protect people's health, many people's income has unexpectedly dropped to zero. The government's COVID Disaster Payment was only recently made available to people who have lost their jobs and are receiving government assistance. As a result, people are struggling. While the restrictions and lockdowns have increased demand, they have also disrupted supply. Foodbank is collaborating with charity partners and adjusting daily operations to ensure that food reaches those in need as efficiently as possible.
To give you an idea, Foodbank has seen a 37.5 percent increase in food distribution in NSW over the last five weeks. Foodbank is now processing as many hampers per day as they did in a week prior to the lockdown, providing 2,500 – 3,500 emergency relief hampers per day, with over 12,100 emergency relief hampers distributed to lockdown areas throughout Greater Sydney and NSW.
Moreover, on July 23, 2021, the Australian Council for Social Services (ACOSS) issued a report highlighting the effects of the lockdown on financial distress and food relief. According to the report, online searches in NSW for emergency relief services on Ask Izzy (a search engine which provides information on housing, food, health, government support, domestic and family violence services and more) increased by more than 800 percent between June 26 and July 14, 2021, highlighting the profound impacts of lockdown on communities.
The need to alleviate hunger is an ever-increasing demand, with 13.6 percent of Australians currently living below the poverty line and facing growing financial hardship as a result of current lockdowns and the ongoing effects of COVID19.
Foodbank will continue to bulk purchase and prepare for ongoing influxes of demand for food relief in the coming months. We know from experience that during crises like these, the long-term recovery phase is just as important as addressing the immediate need; Foodbank will ensure that those in need have access to food and groceries for as long as they require it.
Once again, we sincerely thank you for your support and the impact made possible through your generosity on behalf of the Foodbank family. We look forward to working with you further in our fight against hunger.
For more information, please visit https://www.foodbank.org.au/?state=au
Foodbank Australia Family