Coles supermarkets across Victoria have kicked off a national Christmas appeal this month to help feed locals doing it tough as national food relief organisation, SecondBite, braces for increased demand in the holiday season.
New research released by SecondBite shows more than three in four of its food charities expect Christmas will be more difficult for people they support in the community, with 72 per cent of agencies, including Koha Community Cafe and Milgrove Baptist Church in Big Pats Creek, LinC Yarra Valley in Glenroy and Church of Christ Montose in Montrose are reporting an increase in demand for food relief since Covid-19 began.
Until Christmas Eve, customers can show their support for those hit hard by Covid-19 by purchasing a $2 donation card or donating an amount of their choice at Coles Lilydale, Big Pats Creek, Gilderoy and Montrose.
The appeal comes as SecondBite released its 2020 social impact report, which found that 88 per cent of community food charities reported a moderate or major impact of Covid-19 on their food relief programs, with lockdown, unemployment and slow return to business resulting in an increased need for food by the most at risk and disadvantaged communities.
Coles Regional Manager Christopher Anderson said it was important to remember those in the community who will be doing it tough as Lilydale and Yarra Valley customers start preparing for Christmas.
“Local charities including the Koha Community Cafe, Milgrove Baptist Church, LinC Yarra Valley and Church of Christ Montrose have seen increased demand for food relief since the Covid-19 pandemic began, so it has never been a more important time to dig deep and help provide meals to people who might otherwise go without,” he said.
“By buying a $2 donation card at Coles between now and Christmas Eve, our Lilydale and Yarra Valley customers can be assured they are making a genuine difference to those who are struggling to make ends meet.”
SecondBite co-founder Simone Carson said charities faced an unprecedented Christmas and encouraged shoppers to dig deep to help individuals and families battling this year.
“Our charities have told us this Christmas will be like no other because of the impact of Covid-19 with more and more people relying on food relief agencies to provide their next meal. Shoppers cannot underestimate the difference they can make in someone’s life with a small donation.”