Thousands of vulnerable Queenslanders will have fresh food on the table this Christmas through a Queensland Government funding initiative that will help people survive homelessness with dignity.
SecondBite, a food rescue service that redistributes surplus fresh food to community organisations, will provide an extra 1.2 million meals to needy Queenslanders each year thanks to a $310,000 funding boost from the Palaszczuk Government’s Dignity First Fund.
Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni said the fund was designed to encourage innovative, non-traditional ideas to help people experiencing homelessness live with dignity.
“SecondBite is one of 24 projects that made successful applications for support to the Dignity First Fund,” Mr de Brenni said.
“Homelessness is a complex issue, and it requires a sophisticated response. But while we work toward longer term solutions, there are many wonderful community organisations like SecondBite who are helping people to live with dignity.
“The support that organisations like SecondBite provide not only helps people to access nutritious food or other practical assistance, it’s a way our community can come together to acknowledge and support some of our most vulnerable Queenslanders.”
SecondBite will use the funding to buy an additional van and truck to expand their services outside the Brisbane area, increasing the amount of fresh food they pick up from farmers, wholesalers, markets and supermarkets by 250%.
SecondBite CEO Jim Mullan said this will result in an additional 1.2 million meals to for people experiencing homelessness, women and families in crisis and youth at risk, as well as expanding SecondBite’s services into regional Queensland.
“The impact of a healthy meal is immediate and profound. A healthy meal boosts health and wellbeing,” said Mr Mullan.
“Thanks to Dignity First funding, SecondBite will be able to support more disadvantaged communities in rural and remote Queensland.”
Mr de Brenni said the benefit extended beyond the meal served with SecondBite also providing an opportunity for community engagement and a platform for those experiencing homelessness to connect with other organisations that offered support.
“Everyone has the right to live with dignity irrespective of the situation they may find themselves in,” said Mr de Brenni.
“But with homelessness comes isolation and marginalisation. With the offer of a meal there is also an opportunity for people to interact socially, for them to engage and connect with others and to access the information and support they need.
“It is also an opportunity for us to show these vulnerable members of our community that they have not been forgotten and that we are working to help them out of this situation.”
[ENDS] 4 December, 2016