Since COVID-19, Empower’s demand for emergency food relief has increased by 865%. Empower Australia has reached the milestone of providing over 1 million meals to Victorians in need.
For many in our Victorian community, 2020 proved to be an uncertain year with record numbers of unemployment, unprecedented lock downs and border closures.
Food insecurity became a realised concern for many people in our city. As a growing food relief charity located at the heart of Southbank, Empower Australia was in an ideal position to make a noticeable impact in our community.
“As a response to the COVID-19 lock downs, job losses and social restrictions, Empower experienced a significant increase in demand for our community support,” said Pastor Neil Smith, Pastor at Planetshakers Church and CEO of Empower Australia.
At the end of March 2020, we launched our ‘Food Relief Response’, where we increased our emergency food relief distribution to four primary locations across Melbourne and significantly expanded operations in our Southbank Food Relief Centre.
Collectively through our Southbank, Geelong, Lower Plenty, Ringwood and Pakenham Food Relief Centres, we have been privileged to impact, to this date, an equivalent of over 1,000,000 meals to our recipients.
This record number of distributed meals could not be accomplished without the 50,000+ volunteer hours committed by Empower Australia volunteers, and without the ongoing partnership of our trusted suppliers.
We would like to thank SecondBite, Foodbank Victoria, Fareshare, McCains, OzHarvest and members of the wider community for their donations, and Empower Australia volunteers, for partnering with us to serve the needs of the Victorian community.