More people turning to Foodbank for help

Food relief organisation Foodbank has been feeling the effects of the cost of living increases and South Australians are under pressure with affording food and other essential items.

Foodbank South Australia and Central Australia chief executive Greg Pattinson said demand for the organisation had increased with the rise in costs of living.

“We’re seeing an increase in the number of people coming to try to get food from us, many of whom have never been in that situation before,” he said.

Mr Pattinson said six of their 11 sites throughout South Australia and central Australia had experienced record days in the last few weeks.

He said cost increases were affecting the organisation because approximately two-thirds of their food was donated with lots coming from the eastern seaboard or country South Australia, so they paid more for freight.

Mr Pattinson said Foodbank also purchased a significant amount of the food they distribute, including lots of milk, however milk prices had increased from 70 cents to $1.50 a litre.

“All of the key staple goods have gone up in price at varying levels and that means that we either have to try to raise more money or it means that we have got to buy less food,” he said.

“But the demand is still there, so unfortunately what that’s meant is we have had to actually increase prices that we charge for some of the food that we send out to agencies and we distribute to people who come to our food hubs.”

Mr Pattinson said this was the first time in eight years Foodbank had to increase prices and said they had a staff member resign due to this.

“One thing we’re very proud of is we have still maintained that fruit and vegetables and bread will always be free of charge,” he said.

“So that alone, we feel we’re trying to do our bit to make sure that people have access to healthy food.”

Mr Pattinson said people also recently broke into one of the Adelaide warehouses to steal donated toiletries and personal products.

“We fear that it’s a sign of things to come, that people are now resorting to stealing from a charity to survive,” he said.

To donate to Foodbank, visit foodbanksa.org.au or drop in to Foodbank Limestone Coast on Cave Road in Mount Gambier.

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