DANNY LANNEN, GEELONG ADVERTISER
Some 63 per cent of families seeking charity meals in Geelong have a single parent, according to a ground-breaking study on food insecurity in the region.
Organisations pay $5.5 million in cash and in kind each year to mobilise 53 providers representing 99 programs.
They distribute about 2.6 million kilograms of food, providing an estimated 368,732 meals, and volunteers contribute the equivalent of $2.1 million in labour.
The stark findings were tabled in a Food for Thought report commissioned by Give Where You Live in partnership with Geelong council, to streamline and strengthen supply networks.
Data was collected over one week through surveys of providers, distributors and consumers.
The reports recommended continuing to strengthen Geelong Food Assistance Network activities by improving transparency collaboration and funding within the sector and establishing a shared, centralised collection and distribution hub.
Other key findings in the report include:
Providers helped people with food on 5152 occasions
26 Per Cent of those requests were made by families
64 Per Cent of provider organisation reported increases in clients seeking food assistance in the past year
72 per cent of providers find some food particularly dairy and meat, in short supply
59 per cent of providers have to refuse food donations due to a lack of storage capacity
At least 997 volunteers provide in-kind labour to charity meals system;
91 per cent of providers also referred clients to services including mental health providers, GPs, Financial counselling and accommodation services.
Click here to view a copy of the Food for Thought Report