Pantry donations needed

CareWorks is needing more food donations (Damjan Janevski). 395508_02

Zoe Moffatt

As the cost of living continues to strain families around the country, CareWorks Sunbury is feeling the effect with an up to 50 per cent increase in demand for the service.

CareWorks is a not-for-profit crisis relief centre that provides care, food, and support. It is located at 531 Elizabeth Drive, and anyone can access the service.

Operations manager Kate Killick said they are on the lookout for any non-perishable items and toiletries. These include pasta sauce, coffee, tuna, biscuits, jam, Vegemite, shampoo and more.

“This week we’ve had more than 60 households needing to access the service and we’re getting more and more people who are in employment but just can’t make it stretch to get food on the table,” she said.

“Probably this time last year it was hovering around 35-40 households. Households can range from one person up to about six to eight people.

“Households are finding they can’t afford to pay their bills and put food on the table, it’s really tough times. On average [we are seeing] about four new households a week.”

Ms Killick said increasing rents has had a big impact on the households who are coming into access the service.

“I can’t see [the demand] slowing down unless something is done with the cost of living and inflation comes down,” she said.

“Most of our clients are renting and rents have gone up. We have some families facing eviction because they can’t keep up with rent.”

Ms Killick reminded people to not look past toiletry donations and while they also provide food, they are a place for people to come and be heard.

“It’s not just about eating, it’s about being able to wash your clothes, your hair and have sanitary items as well… [and] we’re always on the look out for volunteers,” she said.

“We offer a place to be cared for, we can do referrals to other services as well, and often people just need a place they can be listened to and heard.

“We’re there to care for people.”