It's hard to believe really. But according to Foodbank, Australia's largest food relief organisation, the hunger gap between the 'haves' and the 'have-nots' is widening. Half a million Australians rely on food assistance each month. And every single month 60,000 people seeking food assistance are unable to be helped because the charities they go to do not have enough to meet demand. Of these, 24,000 are hungry children.
Last Friday was World Food Day. In Australia, the largest consumers of food relief are low income families. The most common issues faced by families seeking relief include depression, stress, anger and anxiety, family breakdown, social isolation, and poor health. Notably, close to a quarter of families also reported behaviour issues and learning difficulties in their children.
Given all that, food parcels, that is, those items that can be used to create a family meal were the most frequent form of food assistance provided. Not food vans, not soup kitchens (although these were, of course, an important part of food assistance provided in this country), it was food that fed a family, in their home.
Here's the rub: families living with disability often fall into this low income bracket. People with disability and those caring for people with disability have reduced earning capacity and greater living expenses.
The need, even in a country as wealthy as Australia, is great. Dinner on the Table is committed to families made vulnerable by disability. This year to date, because of your purchases, we have provided 153 no cost dinners to families living with disability, equivalent to 520 adult dinner portions. It's a start, but there is much more to do.
We're committed to supporting as many families as we can. To do this, we need your help:
- Let us cook you dinner: for the days when doing dinner is a bridge too far, we'd love to help you out.
- Share this post with your friends, share it on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram... help us spread the word about Dinner on the Table.
- Consider forming a dinner Jam. A dinner Jam is a community of people whose collective purchases support a family living with disability from the same community. We think that the best way to grow the number of families we support with no-cost meals is to work with the communities who know them: that's you. If you'd like more info on how to form a Jam please get in touch.
And, if you'd like to know what we're cooking for next week you'll find it here.