North Perth: family experiences life on poverty line for Anti-Poverty Week


Marcus Seydel (9) with mum Belinda Seydel and Genevieve Seydel (13). Picture: Andrew Ritchie
Marcus Seydel (9) with mum Belinda Seydel and Genevieve Seydel (13). Picture: Andrew Ritchie

THE Seydel family in North Perth are learning life without certain creature comforts as part of Anti-Poverty Week.

Belinda Seydel and her children Marcus Seydel (9) and Genevieve Seydel (13) took up the 24 for 24 Food Challenge in which they can only spend $24 in 24 hours to feed all three of them.

Ms Seydel said to stretch the budget, she went shopping on Wednesday, because that was specials day.

“You can buy the staples and make things if you’ve got time, and it doesn’t cost as much; if you don’t have time and have to buy pre-prepared food then that will cost you money,” she said.

“I was compelled to buy Homebrand because it is so much cheaper than all the other brands; curry powder was $1.20 and the others were $3-$4 and the coconut cream was 45c but the other brands were $3.50.”

While the family was able to make the budget stretch with opting for cheaper meat and fewer vegetables, there were things they had to cut out altogether.

“We usually order a pizza and a drink at school on Fridays but this time we will have to make our own cheese sandwiches with no ham and take them,” Marcus said.

He said he would have to go without buying new Pokemon cards.

For Ms Seydel, it was forsaking her daily coffee.

“I couldn’t have an espresso coffee or go to Hobart Street and have a coffee at a cafe,” she said.

She said the challenge had a domino effect.

“I like to support our local community as well but we can’t do that on this budget, I wouldn’t be able to go to the farmers market and buy my meat and vegetables from there because it costs more,” she said.

Foundation Housing spokeswoman Saskia Mazzella said the organisation estimated a family of four living on Centrelink benefits totalling about $715 a week and paying Foundation Housing $255 in rent, would have around $168 available for food.

“It is really tough for some people because they do not have the skills to budget,” she said.