Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters MP, is ready to rattle a tin for the Salvos this weekend as part of their annual Red Shield Appeal, now in its 50th year.
“It's a big shout-out to Bendigo and Central Victorians to give whatever they can afford this weekend. When the Red Shield Appeal volunteers come knocking, please think about making a donation to help the Salvos help those in need.
“It's important to remember that funds raised this weekend by the Red Shield Appeal will come back to help people locally, here in Bendigo and Central Victoria.
“Poverty is not always obvious. Hidden poverty, the poverty endured but not seen, is growing.
“I meet people in the Bendigo electorate everyday who say to me that despite all their hard work, they cannot support a family on their household income.
“According to the latest ABS statistics, about 30 per cent of local households have an income of less than $600 a week, well below the poverty line.
“How unfair has our society become if working people cannot afford to pay their bills?
“The increasing costs of basics like health, education, rates, rent, transport and utilities, combined with decreasing financial support for low income families and individuals, make it very difficult for people to escape poverty.
“Poverty is not an individual problem; it's a society-wide problem. When people are forced to live day-to-day, worried about the basics, they cannot fully participate in society.
“I know from talking to our local Gravel Hill Salvos that it has been a tough year for the Salvos who have had an 18 per cent cut in Federal Government funding for vital emergency relief programs at the same time as demand for their services and support has dramatically increased.
“This weekend is a chance for all of us to help the Salvos help those in our community most in need,” said Ms Chesters.
Lisa Chesters MP will be collecting donations at the Pall Mall Tram stop intersection on Saturday from 9am to 12noon.