Demand for Foodbank as clients double

By Ashleigh Fielding | posted on April 16, 2020

FOOD insecurity has reached a new level in the region with nearly double the amount of people walking through the doors of Foodbank Albany in recent weeks.

Branch Manager Rod Pfeiffer said to maintain the safety of clients and staff and maintain the ability to distribute food to those in need, Foodbank had moved to providing customers with hampers instead of individual products.

He said the Albany warehouse was feeling the pinch particularly badly now more than ever.

“The extra strain on the food supply was exacerbated by a drop in local donations, largely caused by the panic buying at shops,” Mr Pfeiffer said.

“Fortunately, this appears to have settled back to normal levels as people have begun to self-isolate.”

Local businesses and organisations including Edge Planning and Property, Merrifield Real Estate, GM Taxation, Albany Community Foundation, Albany Maritime Foundation and Inner Wheel Club have made significant financial donations as of late, and restaurants forced into closure due to COVID-19 social distancing policies have also donated their leftover products.

But, Mr Pfeiffer said there was still a shortage.

“Foodbank still desperately needs key staple foods such as pasta, rice, flour, long-life milk and tinned vegetables,” he said.

“If you can spare one extra packet each time you shop and donate the items to Foodbank, it will go to those who can’t afford or are unable to do normal supermarket shopping.

“Food insecurity has taken on a whole new meaning for many people recently. The issues we are facing are much bigger than any one relief agency can do.

“I would encourage everyone to keep an eye out for one another, look after you neighbour and help where you can.”

Woolworths Bayonet Head and Coles Albany Plaza have jumped on board to assist the effort, placing donation buckets outside of their stores for customers to place their donations into.