24 April 2020

The Federal Member for Brand, Madeleine King, has urged the Government to direct extra funding to emergency food relief organisations across Rockingham and Kwinana to meet increased demand during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ms King said the Government’s recent announcement of additional funding for emergency relief was incredibly important and had the potential to make a big difference to people facing a difficult time.

She has written to the federal Minister for Families and Social Services, Anne Ruston, in an attempt to ensure that money gets to the front line urgently in Brand.

She said she wanted to work with the Government to support the incredible efforts of local volunteers and community organisations.

“Our community relies heavily on the efforts of smaller emergency relief providers for emergency food provision, including church-based organisations,” Ms King said.

“Many of these smaller groups rely extensively on the generous volunteer efforts of older members of the community who are most vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus and now must stay home for their own health.

“Without a strategy in place to ensure support is distributed to help existing smaller organisations, there is a risk these services will be overlooked for additional funding at a time when their locally focussed services are more critical to our community than ever.”

Ms King said her electorate office in Rockingham had been inundated with requests for assistance, including many who were having trouble accessing government support.

“Loss of income is putting families in Brand under incredible stress – with people really struggling to pay the bills, rent or mortgage, and put food on the table,” she said.

“The Government has done the right thing by increasing funding for food banks and emergency relief organisations.

“It’s now really important this money gets to the front line as quickly as possible – and that means boosting funding for local organisations that are helping those who have been hit hard.

“These organisations have the experience, local connections and community trust that is needed at a time like this.

“We are all facing this test together, and it is a chance for our community to be kind, caring and helpful to one another.”