Funds sought to get food van on road

Toby HusseyAlbany Advertiser

A mobile food service designed to help some of Albany’s nearly 1000 disadvantaged and homeless residents could be on the road within months.

Australian Red Cross and other local volunteer services have been working for weeks on plans for a mobile food delivery service which would support struggling people across Albany.

They are now seeking funding.

In a November statement, ARC said it was looking at providing the service for two nights a week, increasing to five nights by 2020.

Albany Red Cross store manager Francine Seymour said the van was needed at a time when things were “getting worse” for struggling residents.

“People are doing it harder and harder, they’re working poor — people are finding it really hard to make ends meet and make their pay cheque last longer,” she said.

While traditional free food services are available in town, Ms Seymour said a food van would be a huge boost for people who were struggling to get by in outlying suburbs.

“It would reach the isolated people, people who aren’t mobile, who can’t get down to town to get that food,” she said.

“We spoke to Meals on Wheels ... they have people they know who are desperately in need of a meal who can’t come down (to town), so we can go to those areas.”

About 300 people in Albany are believed to be homeless, while about 600 are “disadvantaged”, meaning they struggle to support themselves or their families.

“There’s a lot of people who won’t feed themselves and will feed their dogs, or their kids and not themselves,” Ms Seymour said.

“If we can alleviate the meal problem, they can hopefully get a little bit of a step up.”

Volunteers hope the service will be operational by mid-next year.

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