Ipswich Foodbarn provides vital support to hungry Queenslanders

Ipswich Foodbarn is one of Foodbank Queensland’s Member Charities providing vital food relief to Queenslanders in crisis. The Ipswich charity is open four days a week and offers affordable food hampers and free fresh fruit and vegetables to people doing tough in the local community. Every week, the incredible team at Ipswich Foodbarn supports over 4,500 Queenslanders experiencing hunger.

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Qim Kauwhata, Ipswich Foodbarn Managing Director, said due to increasing demand for food relief, the charity is being forced to turn away more than 150 families every day.

“Since COVID-19, we have seen a surge in the number of people seeking support. We try to source enough food to meet demand, but sadly we are telling more and more people each day that we have run out of food.”

“During the two weeks we were open in December, we saw more people seeking support than in October and November combined, with a huge amount of people hoping to receive assistance before we closed our doors until the new year. On the day we reopened in January, a record number of people came for food relief. Unfortunately, a lot were sent away with no food,” Qim said.

COVID-19 has severely impacted Queensland’s hunger crisis, with one-third of hungry Queenslanders having never experienced hunger before the pandemic. Many charities like Ipswich Foodbarn are continually adapting to new regulations and restrictions to ensure they can continue supporting as many people in crisis as possible.

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Prior to the pandemic, Queenslanders in need were able to walk into Ipswich Foodbarn and select their own food and groceries. However, due to the COVID-19 restrictions, Ipswich Foodbarn now operates as a ‘drive-through’, where volunteers place pre-packed food relief hampers into cars. Many days there are so many cars lined up that the charity needs to direct traffic.

Ipswich Foodbarn is also one of the few food relief charities that accept Centrepay, which allows people to pay for their food hampers as a deduction from their Centrelink payment.

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Foodbank Queensland is proud to have been providing essential food and groceries to Ipswich Foodbarn since 2012. Qim said the charity relies on Foodbank Queensland for 75% of their food.

“Without the help of Foodbank Queensland, we would not have been able to continue to feed the multitudes in Ipswich and surrounding areas,” Qim said.

If you are a Queensland charity, Foodbank Queensland membership is a great way to support your food relief projects, offering your organisation a reliable source of food and groceries all year round.

If you are in a position to help Foodbank Queensland provide more food across the state to support Queenslanders in need, please consider joining the fight against hunger as a regular giver.