Foodbank’s food insecurity report

Foodbank is a charity that receives food and distributes it to other charities in Australia. They receive donated goods. During Covid19 like many other charities, they have been hit hard. So when I got their report I wanted to find out more.

During COVID19 everything changed. There was no more social life within the charities and the demand for food went up by 47%. People had lost their jobs. It’s the women that bear the brunt of job and food insecurity. More than 1 in 4 women have experienced food insecurity in the last twelve months. Anxiety is one of the major concerns as a result of food insecurity. Mothers are likely to feel embarrassed because they cannot provide food for their families. Domestic violence is a factor of this food insecurity. They feel embarrassed about talking to their friends and family about it.

Single-parent households are likely to have food insecurity. These households may have a pension or they might have casual work.

What can food insecurity do?

  • It can result in a decline in mental health for someone
  • People do skip meals regularly because they cannot afford a meal
  • Results in malnourishment in children and adults
  • People cannot focus or concentrate on what they need to do
  • People can feel more tired or stressed

We should be donating to these charities to help those in need during these times. I know some of the businesses donated to them but we can do more. More and more free pantries would be a great idea to help those that are hit hardest. Hopefully, Good Food and wine shows in the future will feature Foodbank.

Now that the Jobkeeper and Jobseeker payments are being wound back more and more people will go hungry and charities will be quite busy. Christmas will be quite different this year with many families struggling. 

Red Cross’s go without challenge

I decided to take on this challenge because we take a lot for granted and during the virus people have had to sacrifice a lot especially losing their job. We wanted to test our patience and not live on luxury items if we can. It goes from the 21st to the  27th of September. During this time we decided to give up on social media as this is what causes most people’s mental health problems. A bit of Youtube is ok.

We did well. We managed to stay off Twitter and Facebook and only go on Instagram to share business posts and to participate in the “Its time” campaign. We used that time to do some work on the blog.

It was hard having a cold shower as it was so cold in Melbourne. In Melbourne, one day was only 12C and we needed the heater. I can’t imagine the poor buggers who are homeless and were out on the streets pre COVID being really cold. One day we had to go without lighting and it was ok.

We used up most items in the pantry and had only $200 to spend. This is not enough for a homeless person to live on for the week if they had to pay for their hotel. Luckily the State Government pays for them to be there. I spent the $160 on food, Les Mills subscription, and the phone bill. The Internet was free and had been prepaid.

Guys if you can please donate to the many charities that are helping the homeless. They need your support more than ever. You can donate online. If you have any unwanted food in your pantry please donate them to a free community pantry in your 5km radius.


Could the coronavirus cause more people to go hungry?

As more and more people lose their jobs due to the pandemic, we wondered if the pandemic could cause people to go hungry!

abundance agriculture bananas batch
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We read this report by the UN nations saying that global hunger has increased this year. They predict that 132 million people would go hungry this year and rely on Foodbank. Food Politics also writes about the food insecurity issue.

The Government gives us money but is it enough for the poor people? This pandemic brings out the inequalities in people. We have seen in the housing towers situation.

We see many charities that are at the brink as many people go to them for food. The Big Umbrella on their Instagram says that many people turn up on Wednesday and Thursday nights and the demand is quite high. The Government allows for these charities to run as an essential service for the homeless and they should. In a Facebook group that I’m in called “Free food Pantry only” there have been quite a few requests for food.

The food banks are quite low on food and donations. We have seen the Ascot Vale Little free pantry always busy. Its the same for the Kensington side.

How to help those in need?

  • There are some charity groups such as Free food Melbourne and other groups on Facebook
  • You can donate money online to your favourite charities
  • You can run for your favourite charities at their events in 2021 and get people to donate money to your charity
  • If you can (and Government allows it) do donate your local free pantry or foodbank
  • If you are a business you could set up some free food days to help those that are struggling

Homelessness and Coronavirus

How the pandemic has affected our homeless situation

Photo by Jimmy Chan on

All over the world many people are now homeless. America is the worst affected. The death rate there has soared. Many of its homeless people are out on the streets where they have no access to clean water and sanitation. Yet health officials there tell people to stay at home. These people are at double risk of getting coronavirus

In Australia people have been asking a lot for help on Facebook. But the homeless have been lucky as they are put up in hotel rooms. In America this happens too but in San Francisco they are offered alcohol and drugs.

We have no idea what will happen to the homeless once the pandemic has ended but here are some ways to help them out.

If you know of services that help the homeless that are opening you can advertise it on Facebook in a homeless group that you are a member of. Some of the charities have recently restarted serving food to the homeless.

If you can do donate to a free pantry.

If somebody gave you a voucher but have no need for it, do donate them online (if its an e-voucher) or you can give it to someone personally that you see on the streets (ie a food voucher). But make sure that you haven’t used up any of the value of that voucher

If you have free meals that you would like to donate (ie you’re a cafe or restaurant and its the end of the day) do feel free to do that.

Soup for Vinnie’s soup van

Vinnies (St Vincent De Paul Society) is a charity and they operate op shops as well as free food for those that cannot afford it.

Vinnie’s soup vans have been around for a while and they have been serving the Fitzroy and Collingwood areas. They are a charity that feeds the homeless and every winter is where the charities are tested. During the Covid19 the homeless have been hit hard. This is where your donations come in

This year the Vinnies soup challenge is all online. You make a soup and you post a picture of your soup online with the hashtag: takestock and you tag Vinnies in your post. And hopefully people will donate online to the soup challenge

This time we would do pumpkin soup as this is my favourite soup during winter. During winter I enjoy it with some sour cream and chives from our garden. A piece of souradough bread top the lot. At the market they use the big bread and they put a big round hole in there and they fill it with soup. It is fun to eat like that and I wish that Vinnies could do that. It would save some of the plastic and the homeless would enjoy a good meal. Vinnies would not need to use the plastic bowls if they just used the big bread rolls and put the soup in there.

Video courtesy of BronfmanCenter

STREAT report

STREAT has just released their latest report. We talk about their report and why you should support STREAT and buy your coffees from them!

STREAT is another homelessness charity which helps young people get back on their feet. They have a few places in Melbourne and just last year they opened another place in RMIT. Their homeground is in Collingwood.


They are a great cafe that helps the homeless to get a job by giving them training and they volunteer at one of the places. I have been to STREAT quite a few times and they make a decent coffee

Challenges facing our young people

  • Mental health- 1 in 4 people have mental health
  • Domestic violence- the average age for someone to escape this is at the age of 10 years old
  • About 116000 people are homeless and that number is growing each year

So how do they help their young people?

They have a few youth programs.

OUTREACH — Undertaking outreach activities with Victorian Police to high risk young people. TASTER — A hands-on hospitality short course designed to give young people a taste of STREAT. ENTREE — An individually tailored work experience program for young people wanting to access hospitality focused work experience or to give STREAT a try before committing to a longer program.

MAIN COURSE — A 20 week fully supported group program including on-the-job training and mentoring, a Work Readiness program, social activities, individual case support (including linkages to specialist service providers), and a Certificate II in Hospitality.

STREATS AHEAD — A program supporting the transition of STREAT graduates into open employment. Our current partners in this program are Fonda, Epicure and the Riverland Group.

Their people

STREAT are all about the community. They helped a young person get a job and stable housing. Many people’s health has improved via their Main course program. They engaged other people to become changemakers. People felt a sense of belonging at STREAT

Their performance

They served over 300000 customers with 90% of people being happy with their service and product. As a result revenue grew from $3.9 million to $5.1 million. They saved the government about $33000 per year which would have been spent on emergency services if that person wasn’t in their STREAT programs.

100% of profits are reinvested into their do good programs for the community.

Planet and places

STREAT are all about being environmentally friendly. They give discounts for customers that reuse their own cups and they want to have a large worm farm at their place in Collingwood

Do buy your coffees from STREAT and support the homeless. They are at RMIT and Melbourne Central and the RACV city building if you work in the city. There is also one in Collingwood in Cromwell st.

Anti Poverty week- how can businesses help those that are poor

This article is brought to you by the Salvation Army and the Big Umbrella

Anti Poverty week is from the 13-19th of October and it recognizes those people in dire need. Businesses have a part to play in the welfare of those less fortunate. There was the Melbourne Marathon on Sunday where 37,000 people took part in that raising money for charity.

But what about other things?

It is estimated that 110,000 people in Australia are homeless. Some of them couch surf and others are out on the streets through no fault of their own.

There is a huge wait for public housing and the wait will get longer if the Government doesn’t do something about it.

So how can businesses help this week

  • They can purchase some Entertainment books for their staff. You can do this right here.
  • They can sign up to help out on one of the Big Umbrella’s nights. To do that you just email the Big Umbrella.
  • They can donate unwanted food to charity. If you sell food this is a viable option for you.
  • They can also write a letter to the local MP asking them to try and raise the allowance of Newstart by about $75 per fortnight. The money that a Newstart recipient earns is about $400-$600 per fortnight. And on top of that they have to pay rent which eats up two thirds of the budget

Help the Salvos this Christmas

The Salvos are doing it tough this Christmas and they need your support. Every year thousands of people are lonely and homeless.

Christmas is a lonely time for those doing it tough. Whilst we are having fun enjoying the time with family and friends, spare a thought for those without. Remember the Townsville floods and their victims will be doing it tough this year

How to help:

* Buy an Entertainment book for a loved one. You can buy this here. 20% of book sales goes towards helping the Salvos help the homeless.

* Buy gifts for the Kmart wishing tree. No gift is too small or too big.

* Donating unwanted goods to the Salvos op shop. All the profits from the goods sold goes back to the homeless community

*When the Salvo volunteers are around in the city and at the intersections or in parks donate to them. Don’t just walk or drive away.

An open letter to food businesses

This is an open letter and I would love your feedback on this letter. It’s part of the Love Food Hate Waste campaign

abundance agriculture bananas batch

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Dear Sir/Madam

This is Healthyintstudents blog and we work with homeless people and people are less fortunate. We also work with the Love Food Hate Waste Campaign a campaign which is about not wasting food.

In Victoria, about 250,000 tonnes of food is wasted. We can reduce this amount if you give away what you cannot sell in a day. Hopefully, this will reduce food wastage costs for you.

In Australia, there is about 110,000 people homeless every night and that statistic is rising each day as people suffer from abuse and some people have been let go. Many of these are on Centrelink payments

We were hoping that your business would donate the leftover food to the hungry that are out on the streets in Melbourne. There’s several Youtube videos on where people did this. It restored people’s faith in humanity. By doing so you would get rid of the people living in the streets as well as doing the greater good for your business. Having people in the streets and fighting all the time turns people away from your business.

Hopefully one day these people would pay it forward and might even work for you, giving you customers. And if you post it on social media other businesses might follow in your footsteps.

There might be some cleanliness issues and food safety issues but I trust you to do the right thing.

I would hope that you’d want to give some of your food to the homeless. Or if you prefer you can also donate to OzHarvest which is a charity that donates food to charities like the Big Umbrella and the Salvation Army.

Or you can host a night with the help of the general public in your establishment. They could buy something and the proceeds of the something that they buy goes towards your night. We know that Grilld did it and it was a huge success!

Yours sincerely,

Healthyintstudents blog

Homeless week

We talk about Homeless week and why its important to try and give.

This week was Homeless week which gave me a chance to practice what I learned in my course which is empathy.

Homeless people don’t have a lot of money to spend on stuff and they only have about $70 a fortnight. So let’s see where this takes us.

It was free coffees all this week from 7/11 and the Salvos.

Thank god there was free travel for all for the next two Mondays. I did forget my myki one day and had to buy a new one which was $6. I could have spent that $6 and the myki money on more food. I would hate there to be the ticket inspectors that pounce on those that can’t afford the ticket!

At the Salvos community lunch, I met up with a lovely guy called John who has been homeless for 12 months. He says it’s hard to get by and that’s true. In the rain and the cold, he’d have to stick it up and Melbourne had lots of cold weather that week. It was smelly outside but I didn’t mind as it is all about the people.

I wore my Salvos shirt all week. And I ran for most of the week. I am running for the homeless and disabled people that can’t do it. I want to show them that you can do something if you put your mind to it.

Walking to Southern Cross station, the pavements at Collins st are always littered with homeless people wanting food. On Tuesday I wanted to stop and help them but I was in a hurry like most people. Then Wednesday it was the same except I had not much money left after buying a protein bar and other snacks.

All the money and costs were doing my head in. I spent $10 just on dinner at Woolworths that day as there were rail replacement buses and I could not go to the Big Umbrella for a free feed.

We also did the Streetsmart program which ran for a day and the participating cafes donate $1 from each coffee sold to the homeless people. Here I did mine at Sensory Lab in David Jones and their latte was great.

That night I had a free dinner courtesy of Thefork and Beer Deluxe. Imagine if the homeless paid $20 for a burger! What a waste for these people. But it was a good burger.

Then on Sunday, we did this amazing free food event in Prahran. See food should be free for everyone.

This week there was a lot of advocacy around free housing for the homeless people. I don’t agree with this as materials and labor costs a lot but it should be cheap. Also the cost of Newstart should rise to $75 extra per fortnight.

Guys try living in their shoes and see what it feels like. And people you should donate to the Salvos whenever you can. They really need your support.