MORE evidence of the increasing number of WA families in financial crises has emerged with a Welshpool organisation recently distributing its biggest quantity of food to charities.
Foodbank WA distributed 251,000kg of food from its Welshpool warehouse to some of its 600 associated charities in February.
Foodbank chief executive Greg Hebble said this was a 34 per cent increase in volume from the same time last year.
“This is equivalent to 500,000 meals going to people and families in need,” he said.
“It shows that there are a lot more people out there in need who are finding it hard to make ends meet.”
Mr Hebble said the organisation had recorded a 20 per cent increase in demand for the year to March, and expected to distribute 2.8 million kilograms of food by December.
Last year, the charity distributed 2.3 million kilograms of perishable and non-perishable food.
“I do not mind the business growing at 10 per cent or so, but this rise is just staggering,” he said.
“We have never before seen the growth we are experiencing at the moment.”
Foodbank WA has also secured a new site at Perth Airport, which Mr Hebble expects the organisation to move into within 12 months.
The 1.9ha site on Abbott Road will be six times bigger than the organisation’s current Welshpool facility.
“Unless there is a remarkable turn- around, the demand for our organisation is only going to rise,” he said.
“Obviously there are many people who are benefiting from the mining industry, but with the rise in interest rates and utility bills, many people are struggling.”
The increased demand is not confined to Foodbank WA, with Food Rescue founder Jacquie Jordan also noticing an increased demand for food.
The not-for-profit organisation started collecting and distributing fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and meals last year.
Ms Jordan said the agency was now distributing 30,000 meals a month.
“There is a growing number of people struggling in Perth, and while we don’t always see it, the need is very real and very raw,” she said.