Demand for affordable food grows

Gareth ThomasAlbany Advertiser

A growing need for affordable groceries in the Great Southern has prompted Albany Foodbank to launch a campaign to drive donations after experiencing a 23 per cent increase in demand during February.

Albany Foodbank branch manager Rod Pfeiffer said demand for the affordable food service had been growing year after year and the 365-Days-a-Year campaign was an attempt to highlight the year-round demand.

Mr Pfeiffer said Foodbank was no longer only busy at Christmas time and demand was consistent every month of the year.

“Last year we were markedly up on the year before and the year before that,” he said.

“To give you some perspective, in February alone, our demand increased by 23 per cent compared with February last year.”

Albany man Scott Thomas said he relied on Foodbank for cheaper groceries to be able to afford other essentials.

“Being able to purchase food at a cheaper rate enabled me to save money for reading glasses,” he said.

“Without them I wouldn’t be able to read.

“It means that I don’t go hungry, so instead of sitting around wondering where your next meal is coming from, you can afford to go out and buy it.”

Mr Thomas said his visits to Foodbank were a positive ex-perience. Mr Pfeiffer said the increasing demand was co-ming from a range of different people in the community, from sin-gle people living alone trying to stretch their income after paying rent to double-income families struggling to make ends meet.

“This means we welcome any and all food donations to the Foodbank and everyone can make a difference with a donation — especially ingredients people can cook with like flour, sugar, things like that,” he said. We have some families who do an extra trol-ley-load of shopping and bring it in to us and that is just fantas-tic.”

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