Food banks and emergency relief need boost now

Labor is calling on the Government to urgently extend stimulus support to the charity and non-for-profit sector. 

Food bank, emergency relief and financial counselling organisations provide vital services to those Australians doing it toughest – and they are more important now than ever.

There are already reports of local emergency relief organisations running out of essential goods, food staples and basic safety equipment for volunteers. 

The charity sector also employs 1.3 million Australians, but was not included in the first stimulus package.

The economic impact of the Coronavirus is expected to be huge. It will mean a lot of people will struggle to pay the rent, pay their mortgage and feed their family.

Many people will turn to emergency relief organisations for the first time – for groceries; help with bills; and advice in managing finances.

At the sharpest end it means more Australians may become homeless. Already there are more Australians homeless than ever before. This threatens to make it even worse.

That’s why extra support and assistance for providers of food and emergency relief and other homelessness services is so important.

In times of national crisis, the community, not-for-profit and charity sector – with its countless staff and volunteers – holds us together as a nation.

Australians want to know that practical support is there for their family, friends and neighbours if needed.

The Government must work to ensure supply chains and money urgently reach the front line. No one should be turned away when they need help.

Local organisations will be the first point of call for families facing hardship – they need a major funding boost and access to the same stimulus support as business.