Vulnerable West Australians impacted by federal government funding cuts

Foodbank WA will have less food to distribute to vulnerable West Australians, as a result of the Federal Government funding cuts to Foodbank Australia, which has been announced just six weeks out from Christmas.

Foodbank WA CEO Greg Hebble said, “It’s devastating to think that our hunger relief efforts will be compromised as a result of the latest funding cuts, especially since we are the only hunger relief organisation operating at scale in this state.”

Last year, Foodbank WA distributed over 6.1 million meals to 481 registered charities to provide emergency food relief throughout Western Australia. 57% of the food was distributed via its regional distribution centres to those living in Albany, Bunbury, Geraldton, Kalgoorlie, Peel.

Mr Hebble said “there’s no doubt that the latest funding cuts will direct impact our ability supply of essential products such as baked beans, spaghetti, canned vegetable, fruit, pasta and rice, that are needed all year around and aren’t donated in the quantities we need them.”

“I just can’t understand why this is happening, especially ahead of one of our busiest times of the year, when we are expecting to provide more than 1 million meals to vulnerable West Australians throughout the festive season.”

This is the third funding cut that Foodbank Australia has been asked to absorb since 2014, which will directly impact its Key Staples Program. The program sees Foodbank partner with the food industry to manufacture key staple products such as pasta and canned meals to provide a comprehensive and consistent supply of the key staple foods needed to underpin the front line food relief services of charities nationally.

Foodbank Hunger Report 2018 exposed that food insecurity is on the rise with over 4 million people going without food at some point in the past year, and people in the country are 33% more likely to experience it than their city counterparts.

“We now have an even bigger funding gap that we need to fill to ensure all West Australians in crisis, get access to a nutritious meal.”

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