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Australia : Refreshed emergency relief and financial support to provide better services to Canberrans in need.

The ACT Government will fund five community organisations to provide its Emergency Relief and Financial Support services to Canberrans following a refresh of the program.

OzHarvest, St Vincent de Paul Society Canberra/Goulburn, UnitingCare Kippax, The Salvation Army and Care Inc will provide food assistance, emergency material and financial aid (EMFA) and the No Interest Loan Program.

Many Canberrans experience financial distress at various points in their lives. Emergency Relief and Financial Support services provide short-term support to individuals and families experiencing disadvantage or financial crisis. Support may include grocery items, vouchers, clothing and financial assistance.

The ACT Government has undertaken a redesign process for this program, engaging with the community sector to better understand the nature of poverty and emerging needs in the community. This has resulted in a more strategic approach in the investment in critical food assistance and emergency support services to ensure Canberrans get the support they need when they need it.

The new services begin 1 July 2018.

Quotes attributable to Rachel Stephen-Smith, Minister for Community Services and Social Inclusion:

The refreshed emergency relief program will deliver better services for Canberrans in need. I am excited to welcome OzHarvest to the program for the first time. This will provide a welcomed boost to the supply of fresh fruit and vegetables to outlets

Through the Governments refresh process, we learned that the types of support delivered through this program need to extend beyond the provision of immediate financial or material aid, and that people who seek this support may also benefit from services to help them address issues in key areas of wellbeing.

By providing emergency relief and linking families to information where appropriate, these providers play a key role in enabling individuals and families to participate in school and community life, building capacity and resilience.

Quotes attributable to Dave Burnet, OzHarvest ACT and Territories Manager

OzHarvest Canberra is very proud to be a part of the restructured approach to food security in the ACT. We're looking forward to working closely with St. Vincent de Paul in the local area to ensure good food gets to those who need it most.

Our team rescues between 35,000 and 40,000 kilograms of fresh and frozen food each month in Canberra, and the funding provided through the ACT Government Food Assistance Grants will give us the opportunity to rescue more food and get it more agencies and charities.

OzHarvest Canberra currently assists over 60 local charities, programs and agencies and the funding provided will allow us to reach out and help those who have been on our waiting list.

We have been working with Vinnies for years, and our commitment to helping people doing it tough in our own backyard is strong. With Foodbank supplies and OzHarvest's fresh fruit, veggies, meat and meals, we're confident Canberra will be a better place for many on these cold Winter days and nights.

Quotes Attributable to Patrick McKenna, Director of Compliance and Governance, St Vincent de Paul Society Canberra/Goulburn

We are very pleased to be able to continue our emergency relief support via our helpline and home visits provided by our employees and volunteer members.

Our people are passionate about helping those in need in their local community and this service has been at the core of our work to help people break the cycle of disadvantage since the St Vincent de Paul Society was founded in 1833.

Last year we received over 17,000 calls for assistance from people within the Canberra/Goulburn region and were able to provide over $1.8 million in direct assistance to people in need.

Our services will now be extended to support the Foodbank outlets in Canberra who provide high quality food stores to those in need at very affordable prices.

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Publication:Mena Report
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Jun 29, 2018
Words:642
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