Lately we’ve all been feeling the anxiety that comes with seeing a supermarket shelf stripped bare, but for many people, food scarcity is a daily concern. And while we’re planning our quarantine hobbies, the dark reality is that for too many, a quarantine means an increased exposure to domestic violence.
Here are just a few of the charities and community organisations around Perth that could use a helping hand.
Australia’s largest food relief organisation, Foodbank distributes to over 2600 charities nationally, in addition to providing students’ breakfasts at over 2000 schools across the country – that’s over 77 million meals a year. After releasing shocking images of their bare warehouse shelves, Foodbank have put the call out for urgent donations. If you missed their donation drive through over the weekend, they’ve got seven locations across metro and regional WA where you can drop off donations. Alternatively, you can easily donate money through their website – for every dollar donated, Foodbank can provide two meals to Australians in need.
Centre for Asylum Seekers, Refugees and Detainees
This Perth-based independent organisation provides advocacy support, emergency relief, healthcare support and food security support to asylum seekers and refugees. As well as campaigning for the rights of asylum seekers, their food bank is essential to their clients with limited or no income – with that need only anticipated to increase over the coming weeks and months. Food donations are always needed, as well as household and personal items (think shampoo, deodorant, household cleaners etc). They also happily accept supermarket vouchers, and of course financial donations can easily be made online.
Community Food Hamper Project WA
The Community Food Hamper Project is a volunteer-run, local organisation that supplies halal food donation boxes to Muslim and non-Muslim families in need – helping thousands of families each year who struggle with food security. With increased pressure on already stretched supplies, they’ve made an urgent plea for donations over the next week, either from a list of pre-approved non-perishable food items or financially. You can either drop off at one of several donation collection points around Perth, or with their team of volunteer donation collectors, you won’t even need to leave the house!
Helping women and children escape domestic and family violence, Starick provides refuge, transitional housing, advocacy and counselling services. With the increased risk factors associated with social isolation, support for these services are more important than ever. While some goods are accepted, the best way to support is financially, with $50 allowing the organisation to provide emergency provisions, toiletries and groceries for a woman in crisis.
Since 1996, Manna have been providing food services to some of the most vulnerable people in Perth. From its simple beginnings feeding a few homeless people in a park, it’s now grown into four food programs, with over 100 volunteers and 55 000 meals served per year. Their programs range from their soup kitchen, which runs five days a week in Northbridge, to their Manna Kids Enrichment Program, which provides learning support, food and care relief, and active and social care to disadvantaged kids around Perth, their Kids Breakfast Program in partnership with Foodbank, and their Food and Care Hamper Program. Relying on the generosity of the public, Manna will gladly accept donations of food and personal care items, as well as monetary donations directly to their Food and Care Hamper fund.
It doesn’t seem like an overstatement to say that the healthcare system is in crisis right now. With everyone staying home – quite rightly – the unintended and unfortunate outcome is a drastic decline in blood donors. After a huge response following the bushfire crisis, hundreds of appointment cancellations means that their supplies will be under pressure. They’ve got stringent safety protocols in place, so if you’re in good health and haven’t travelled in 28 days, make an appointment to donate now.
Foster a pet
If you’re stuck at home, now might be the perfect time to foster or adopt an animal. With continuing high numbers of surrenders to organisations like the Cat Haven, Dogs’ Refuge Home, SAFE Perth and Greyhound Adoptions WA, as well as necessary cancellations of integral fundraising and awareness raising events, we don’t want our four-legged friends left behind. If you’re stuck at home, it removes some of the barriers associated with animal adoptions, allowing for pets to get extra monitoring as they get used to their new homes and any new animal siblings.
Cover photo from Foodbank WA