CHRISTMAS and the holiday season are a time for relaxing with loved ones and to reflect on what is important in life.
Health, family and community, a roof over our heads and food on the table.
But, sadly, this is not the reality for us all.
Labor Member for Elwick Josh Willie said very little had happened in 2019 to address the cost of living – and the result was rising homelessness and food insecurity.
Mr Willie is calling on the Government to do more for Tasmanians who need emergency food relief.
“Despite claims that Tasmanians are experiencing a golden age, wages are not keeping up with the cost of living, with electricity and rental costs going through the roof,” he said.
“Foodbank’s latest Hunger Report 2019 shows an 18 per cent increase in Tasmanians seeking food assistance.
“Alarmingly, 40 per cent more food is required to meet demand.
“Recent funding cuts made by the Government will result in even more Tasmanians struggling to feed their families.”
Mr Willie said Tasmania was the only state which did not have on-the-ground operations from all emergency food relief providers that received funding from the Federal Government.
“Loaves and Fishes provide 70 per cent of emergency food relief in Tasmania, preparing 5000 meals per week and servicing 220 community food programs and 38 school breakfast clubs with fresh produce,” he said.
“The cuts to Federal funding has forced its hand and it has announced recently that its southern operations has ceased.
“That means its support for 134 community food programs is at an end and families are already feeling the impact.
“Neighbourhood Houses like the Goodwood Community Centre rely on Loaves and Fishes to feed people in the community doing it tough.
“I recently dropped by to donate a fresh veggie box and a cheque because there are people without food until this is resolved.
“We’re calling on Will Hodgman to stand up for Tasmanian families struggling to put food on the table.
“He should be lobbying his Federal colleagues to reinstate funding for the organisations that make sure Tasmanians can access emergency food relief.”
Caption: Donna Cowen, left, and Margaret Carlisle, from the Goodwood Community Centre, with Josh Willie MLC.