AUSTRALIA’S top charities are asking for $100m more for next year to cover an expected surge in food donations, after a dramatic rise in the number of Australians who turned up to give.
Key points:The Salvation Army says it needs to spend $1m on a food bank in the next six months to keep up with demandThe Salvation Group says it’s facing “catastrophic” funding problemsThe Salvation Food Bank, which helps Australians in crisis, says it can’t keep up.
The Salvation War, which has been running a foodbank in Sydney’s CBD for more than a decade, said it was experiencing a severe funding crisis.
“We have a very big food problem in this country,” the Salvation Army’s CEO Tim Jolliffe told the ABC.
“Food is a very important part of the Australian way of life and we need to have a real food bank.”‘
A lot of people are going hungry’The Salvation group said it had to spend about $100,000 on a new food bank to keep pace with a surge in demand.
“This has been a really traumatic year for us, particularly for our food bank,” CEO Tim Gartland told the broadcaster.
“I think a lot of the people that we serve are really struggling financially.”
The Salvation food bank has struggled to meet the demand, with a record 7.5 million people visiting it last year, up from 6.9 million the year before.
It is currently expecting to receive another $400,000 in donations this year, and is trying to balance its budget by cutting staff and cutting back on the amount of food it can stock.
Mr Gartwood said it could take another three years before food bank services were fully restored.
“There’s a lot more to come, it’s going to take another 3 to 4 years,” he said.
“But we’re just getting started.”
The organisation is also running a pilot program to help people with food banks in other parts of the country.
The pilot is currently operating in Brisbane and Melbourne, but the Salvation’s CEO said the organisation would be looking to expand the program in other states.
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