Food parcel demand soars

MLA Tony Butti with Rev Jan Boyle of St Matthew’s Armadale.
MLA Tony Butti with Rev Jan Boyle of St Matthew’s Armadale.

St Matthew’s Anglican Church is struggling to keep up with the demand for food parcels, fearing supplies will run out in the next month.

‘The generosity of people doesn’t keep up with the demand for parcels,’ the Reverend Jan Boyle said.

‘The congregation brings food every week but it skims the surface: it’s not enough.’

She said the Bishop had issued a letter to parishes and schools in the Armadale Deanery – from Cannington to Serpentine – calling for all non-perishable food donations to be directed to St Matthew’s due to the demand. The church gave out 10 to 12 food parcels each week but this number was growing, only limited by the availability of donations. Fifty to 100 Christmas-themed hampers are issued each year.

Donations of non-perishable food items can be delivered to the church cafe on the corner of Jull Street and Church Avenue.

Armadale MLA Tony Buti wrote to Child Protection Minister Helen Morton’s office, requesting the Department for Child Protection and Family Support reinstate staff positions in the Family Crisis Program.

Department acting director general Kay Benham told Comment News that financial assistance had been reduced to focus on core roles, and people were instead being referred to emergency relief and financial counselling providers in the community sector.

‘The department has removed programs that duplicate services,’ she said.

She said the finance officer in the Family Crisis Program had her duties amended to provide a broader support role in the district in additional to a financial assistance focus.

Ms Morton said she was concerned to hear of the issues Dr Buti raised and had asked the department to investigate his concerns.