Imagine a world where Western Australians skip meals or go entire days without food, not because of scarcity, but because of the rising cost of living.
Over the past year, 3.7 million households in Australia experienced food insecurity, according to the Foodbank Hunger Report 2023.
It is a heartbreaking reality that 120,000 children in Western Australia live with food insecurity.
“Imagine a world where Western Australians skip meals or go entire days without food, not because of scarcity, but because of the rising cost of living,” Foodbank WA CEO Kate O’Hara said.
“Everyone deserves access to regular healthy meals. It is a basic human right. And yet, it’s the most likely item to be sacrificed to make ends meet.
“In a country where we produce enough food to feed our population three times over, this should not be happening.”
Here’s how you can help get food to people who need it.
If you’re looking to roll up your sleeves and get involved, volunteering is a fantastic way to make a difference.
Whether it’s packing emergency relief hampers or assisting customers on the shop floor, your time on the ground means families have food on their tables.
“We couldn’t do what we do without our volunteers. Without the support of volunteers, thousands of Western Australians families would be going without dinner this week,” Ms O’Hara said.
Volunteer tasks include supporting vulnerable families and households reaching out to access food relief, providing for those who would otherwise go without, and be there for the many people who feel shame and anxiety when reaching out for a hand up.
"It takes a willingness to give back and contribute, educate and advocate to support WA families in need," she added.
There are a variety of short-term and long-term volunteer opportunities for both individuals and groups if you’d like to get involved.
Financial and food donations from individuals, workplace giving initiatives, and corporate contributions provide the financial fuel that keeps the charity’s initiatives running strong.
Thinking long-term? Leaving a bequest or endowment can shape a legacy project that extends our impact far into the future. Your support not only funds ongoing initiatives but ensure their sustainability for years to come.
“A charity doesn’t exist to simply deliver services. The mission is to always do more, so it needs to be able to respond to the constantly changing needs in the community. Bequests and endowments offer additional financial flexibility to do exactly that,” Ms O’Hara said.
Rather than one large donation, you can set up donations through your payroll system and make multiple small donations over the year.
Workplace giving offers an simple way for corporate organisations to support Foodbank WA and give back to the community.
“Our workplace giving program is living proof that small change can make a big difference,” Ms O’Hara said.
Do you have specialised skills or professional expertise? Your talents could be a game-changer.
“Whether it’s rebuilding our website, helping us procure more produce and products, or providing other professional services, your contribution helps us do good, better,” Ms O’Hara said.
As a volunteer there are several ways you can give your time and talent to help, such as:
- Preparing and assembling hampers for emergency relief and the Mobile Foodbank.
- Working alongside Chef Grant in the Community Kitchen to prepare, cook and package meals.
- Being involved in a Takeover Day where, for an entire day, you’ll take over Foodbank’s Community Kitchen, warehouse, and cool room.
- Step into the world of a Foodbank customer for a day, explore the shop, and cook in the Community Kitchen.
- Take part in the ‘Mega Meal Challenge’ where, over five days, your team of 30 volunteers will prepare, cook, package and label over 1,000 meals.
The difference you’ll make
One in five West Aussie families are hungry right now. This isn’t just a statistic; it’s the everyday experience of someone you know.
It’s not just about the physical discomfort of hunger; it’s a daily battle for families who face the agonising choice between paying rent or putting food on the table.
It's the worry of not knowing where your next meal will come from, the shame of not being able to provide for your loved ones, the fear of what lies ahead.
“With rising living costs, this number will grow. And in spite of our best efforts, we estimate that we need 50 per cent more food to provide enough for all the people seeking assistance,” Ms O’Hara said.
“To try and bridge this gap, we rely on the generosity of individuals, businesses, community organisations, schools and all levels of government.
“We believe no one should go without. If you can, please donate. Your generosity truly does feed change for thousands of Western Australian families.”