In response to the COVID-19 crisis in our region, the project has responded by increasing the provision of food assistance to people experiencing hardship, as well as assisting community to better connect with support.
At the beginning of March as Australians became aware of COVID-19 and the impact it was having in other countries and its potential to impact our own way of life, members of our community began panic buying. It started with toilet paper and other paper products and hand sanitiser and then spread to staples like pasta, rice, flour, canned goods, frozen food, meat etc. By the middle of March COVID-19 was declared a pandemic and shelves at supermarkets were bare. Supermarkets imposed limits on what you could purchase.
The effect of these shortages and limits were significant on the provision of emergency food relief. Accessing food supplies became difficult as donations of food (and money) by individuals decreased and the food supply chain struggled with unprecedented demand and was no longer able to provide excess food stuffs to the emergency food system. Even if there was money to purchase food by food relief organisations limits imposed made this impossible.
At the same time community services were seeing an increase in demand from people needing help and unsure of where they could get assistance – people who had recently lost their job or were increasingly vulnerable during the crisis. Give Where You Live Foundation adapted our project to be able to support the regions food relief sector by collating and regularly sharing and reporting where people could get help. This Where You Can Eat publication was then shared across over 125 community organisations, and reached over 4300 people through social media. This assisted people to be able access food relief and to know where to go to seek assistance, this has seen over 49,000 meals being provided to men, women and children just within the month of June.
A client had completed the Business Basics at Northern Futures and completed a traineeship through one of their Industry Partners. She then secured more work with the same employer, but unfortunately due to COVID19 was recently stood down from work, as was her husband. With very little savings, being able to access some food assistance has been a tremendous support to the couple in these very stressful times.
A 16yo young person that is not entitled to Youth Allowance and is reliant on financial support from her parents who have recently lost their employment. Food assistance was provided which gave some financial relief for the parents and food on the table for the whole family (2 parents, and 2 children).Attachments: