Cameron Howe, The Mordialloc Chronicle
October 10, 2017
Longbeach Anglican Parish’s popular food bank service, Pantry 5000 is growing in demand in response to the rising cost of living.
Pantry 5000 supports the most vulnerable within our community by providing emergency and on-going food relief. Two hundred families each week from Carrum and surrounds are supplied with fruit and vegetables, provided they can demonstrate financial difficulty.
A report released by RMIT and the Victorian Council of Social Services has exposed the sacrifices the elderly and low income families are making to pay energy bills.
Lead investigator, Dr Larissa Nicholls observed that of the households interviewed, many families were restricting their use of air-conditioning, limiting cooking, and restricting healthy food purchases.
“Many rely on community organisations to stay afloat, yet these organisations are often underfunded,” Dr Nicholls said.
Ken Gooding established Pantry 5000 five years ago, which distributes 200 food hampers each week that feed between 400 and 450 people. Mr Gooding agrees that there is a link between the rising cost of living and those lining up for food parcels. In fact, the service is growing in demand, with 40 per cent of people lining up often being underemployed singles, and the remaining 60 per cent is accounted by families, who are primarily single parents.
“People are finding it tough even though they have a job,” Mr Gooding says. “We’ve grown in capacity to cope.”
Revenue streams to support the program include sausage sizzles, donations, and the three year partnership with Kingston council. The partnership comes up for negotiation at the end of the year, and provides $5,000 annually in funding, which was recently increased to $7,500.
Pantry 5000 operates from St. Aidan’s in Carrum, which also has a community garden, and alike Men’s Shed provides a positive outlet for those who may be experiencing social isolation.
Longbeach Anglican Parish are committed to helping to get people back on their feet. “We’re trying to make a difference in people’s lives,” Mr Gooding says.
Donations and volunteers are welcome. Please contact the Parish Office on 9772 1251, or alternatively e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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