Foodbank shelves stocked and available for parents needing extra support whilst seeking employment opportunities.

Nonperishable food items have been generously donated from Loreto College after campaigning for community donations, helping local support agencies across Ballarat, including Centacare.

An abundant amount of food was delivered to the foodbank at the ParentsNext Pop Up Shop, ParentsNext is a pre-employment program that assists parents with young children to identify their education and employment goals.

The Pop Up Shop aims to assist parents with financial strain and food insecurity throughout providing extra resources whilst seeking employment or education opportunities. Parents are encouraged to help themselves to items including food, shoes, books, blankets and clothing that may provide extra support.

Many local families are facing food insecurity according to a recent study undertaken by Monash University, analyzing food insecurity in Ballarat, 100 people accessing charitable food relief were interviewed. Data released shows that 80 percent ran out of food and could not afford to buy more, 72 percent had gone 1-2 days without eating in the past week and 69 percent felt stressed because they couldn’t afford enough food.

ParentsNext Support Advisor, Sarah Springfield reiterates the presence of food insecurity and the challenges families are facing,

“It is really hard for single parents or parents on a single income to manage everyday expenses, especially this time of the year when medical costs and high heating bills arise, it can throw out a families planned budget and food supply often suffers.”

“We encourage parents to bring along a bag and stock up on food or any other resources they may need. We have had a great response so far with parents accessing what’s available and often commenting on their gratitude for the extra support” said Sarah.

The foodbank can be accessed from 9am-3pm Monday to Friday for any one in need of extra assistance.

For more information or to make a donation please call Centacare on 03 5337 8999 or drop into the Central Office at 4-6 Peel St Ballarat.