Lisa Chesters MP, Federal Member for Bendigo, has met with local emergency relief provider Bendigo Foodshare to discuss the Liberal Government’s chaotic handling of Foodbank funding.
“This was an outrageous and mean funding cut by Scott Morrison. This Foodbank debacle is another demonstration that Bendigo can’t trust the Liberals.
“The decision to reverse the cut is welcome but it should not have come to this and reeks of tricky politics.
“It just demonstrates how out of touch the Liberals are with Bendigo emergency food relief agencies and the families they support.
“I know from working with local emergency food relief organisations, like Bendigo Foodshare, how vital Foodbank is and the role they play locally to ensure these organisations have food to distribute,” said Ms Chesters.
Foodbank is a food relief organisation that puts food on the table for hundreds of thousands of Australians in need – many of them children.
Foodbank does an extraordinary job partnering with the food and grocery industry to recover excess or unsaleable products that can be delivered to Australians in need. They rely on a relatively small amount of funding from the federal government to ensure there are no gaps in their supply of essential food items each day.
One of the organisations that receive vital food supplies from Foodbank is Bendigo Foodshare.
Bendigo Foodshare currently provides for 40 school breakfast and lunch programs and 41 community agency meals and emergency relief programs all across Central Victoria.
“Unfortunately, the demand for their services continues to increase.
“Many people across Central Victoria are doing it tough – many people live on fixed incomes, wages aren’t keeping pace with the cost of living. Across Central Victoria, hidden poverty and food insecurity is growing.
“Food insecurity is not an individual problem it's a social problem. When people are forced to live meal to meal they cannot fully participate in society,” said Ms Chesters.
“It's vital that our Federal Government demonstrates strong commitment to supporting community infrastructure like Bendigo Foodshare.
“This is all about priorities. The Liberals were caught out on this one but they simply can’t be trusted to genuinely support vital community services that help Central Victorians in need each and every day.”