More donations and help will be needed in the lead-up to Christmas, Foodbank says. (ABC News: Manika Dadson)
The shelves at Foodbank Tasmania’s warehouses are almost empty after supplying 1.2 million meals to the Tasmanian community in the past year, but CEO Edward Gauden said demand is only increasing.
About 100 volunteers weighed, packed and sealed 30,000 hampers in Devonport on Saturday, all destined to go to Tasmanians in need.
“Sadly, the need continues to the rise,” Mr Gauden said.
“We’re finding that people who previously had good jobs, they’re having a battle now that their hours have needed to be cut.
“Other bills are coming through, the kids are going back to school next week, so there’s bills to be paid there.”
Mr Gauden said demand for assistance was increasing statewide.
“There’s a lot of food going into the Kingborough area currently,” he said.
“One organisation there is supplying on a Thursday over 84 families on a weekly basis.
“In Devonport, I had an order on Friday for 400 emergency hampers to be sent to one of our charitable organisations.”
Call for more help as Christmas looms
Volunteer Mac Russell, who spent hours packaging food into zip-lock bags, said it was good to give back to others.
“We have a great [production] chain, great efficiency and had a lot of fun doing it,” he said.
“This is a great way of helping get the food direct to people.”
Food store Zambrero donated the food and packaging equipment for the day.
“We decided last year to have the inaugural packing day to give a little bit back to Tasmania,” Zambrero’s Stuart Churton said.
“Hopefully these meals can have a great effect on the community.”
Foodbank hoped more businesses would ramp up donations in the lead-up to the busiest time of the year — Christmas.
“We hope to have a lot more days like this because we need to,” Mr Gauden said.
“We’re coming up to the Christmas season and our shelves at Foodbank are very bare compared to previous years.