Foodbank desperate to replenish stocks

Foodbank employee Stephen Bousfield with supplies. Picture: Elle Borgward www.communitypix.com.au d421450
Foodbank employee Stephen Bousfield with supplies. Picture: Elle Borgward www.communitypix.com.au d421450

The charity is encouraging locals to host food drives or make donations.

It is slim pickings for the State’s leading hunger relief agency, with Foodbank WA struggling to keep up with soaring demand.

According to its 2013 End Hunger Report, more than 16,000 people in need were turned away from charities last year because of a food shortage.

Despite Foodbank’s partnerships with leading retailers, manufacturers and growers, it is expected the situation will get worse.

Last month, the charity distributed 25 per cent more food than the same time last year.

A record high for April has also led to dangerously low food stocks.

Foodbank WA chief executive Greg Hebble said the increasing demand from its welfare agency partners was an indicator that more people are struggling to cope with the cost of living.

‘Foodbank WA provides food for an incredible 55,000 people each month, yet there are thousands more who are not getting the help they need,’ Mr Hebble said.

‘Even small changes in the cost of living can have a catastrophic effect and people will choose to go without food rather than stop paying their rent or have their power cut.’

Mr Hebble said the charity was exploring new options to ensure it has enough food to meet growing need.

‘We are now faced with having to purchase staple foods to ensure we have enough food to meet the need,’ Mr Hebble said.

‘We don’t have funding to buy food but we have to find a way to help the most vulnerable members of our community.’

Foodbank WA is encouraging businesses and community groups to get involved.

Visit foodbankwa.org.au.