The City of Casey is partnering with the Balcon Group to address food insecurity in the local community.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a growing demand for emergency food relief services. This partnership, along with the powerful and ongoing work of other local organisations, aims to address this shortfall.
Food insecurity can be defined as, when not all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs for an active and healthy life.
In Australia, a 2016 Foodbank survey found that 1 in 6 Australians (approximately 18 per cent of the population) reported experiencing food insecurity at least once in the last 12 months, and over a quarter (28 per cent) of those face it regularly. COVID-19 has made this situation even more severe for many in our community.
The face of hunger is diverse, however the most common groups who are assisted with food relief are the unemployed and low-income families. Single parent families follow as a close third.
The most common reason why people experience food insecurity is simply not having enough money, unexpected expenses and large bills or just paying housing costs.
In the City of Casey, high rates of unemployment in certain areas, combined with high rates of housing stress are seen within both our established and growth areas.
Looking to make a difference, The Balcon Group funded an initiative, which, supported by the City of Casey, brought together private business, local cafés, charities, and local government, who are all united by a passion to support our community.
This program provides free healthy meals to anyone who needs it. The meals are cooked by LArte Café and Volt Café, and are distributed through The Salvation Army Cranbourne, Gethsemane Church Charity, and the Casey Aboriginal Gathering Place.
In the first three months of the initiative, we saw some very positive results for the community, for the café’s, and for our community partners, these included:
- 100 per cent of jobs retained at both Café's, with additional casual and volunteer positions gained
- 2,030 healthy and quality meals delivered to the community
- 753 families experiencing food insecurity within Casey benefited
The Balcon Group have funded a further three months of this initiative, understanding that the need for food security will increase as we continue through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Whatever your situation, we are here to help.
For further assistance, please visit Council's COVID-19 Community Resources page.