A LIMESTONE Coast charity will reap the benefits of a Coles Supermarket initiative to support the provision of emergency food relief to vulnerable residents.
Shoppers can purchase a $2 donation card as part of the SecondBite annual appeal, with ac.care to receive funds from the initiative to support its relief measures for people experiencing financial hardship.
Food rescue organisation SecondBite is at the centre of the annual Coles appeal, which allows shoppers to purchase a $2 donation card with their groceries, with ac.care among the charities to receive the funds.
The national appeal comes as SecondBite released new research highlighting three out of four community food charities were experiencing higher demand from vulnerable Australians compared to this time last year, particularly from single-parent families and people affected by homelessness and unemployment.
ac.care homelessness and community services manager Trish Spark said demand for food assistance at the organisation’s Mount Gambier Community Centre had increased significantly compared to this time last year.
“The demand for our food relief programs has significantly increased since COVID-19 first hit in March last year, particularly from people experiencing homelessness or insecure accommodation, older people and
families who have experienced domestic violence,” she said.
“SecondBite enables us to provide food to our community members who are struggling to make ends meet. The daily pick-ups ensure we have fresh fruit, vegetables and bread each day.”
In addition to providing emergency food relief, the community centre provides a welcoming space for locals to have a coffee, something to eat and connect with others, as well as a homelessness service, financial
counselling and a community connections program.
“Although most services require an appointment, any member of the community can enjoy the coffee, hot food and fresh food supplies, no questions asked,” Ms Spark said.
“This provides us with a great opportunity to get to know people and when they feel comfortable, they will share their stories with us and seek any other assistance they require,” she said.
Coles will also donate 10 cents to SecondBite for every Coles Kitchen 300g soup sold until October 31.
The Coles SecondBite Winter Appeal $2 donation cards are available at Coles supermarkets nationally until July 27.