Council to address issue of food relief

Thursday 18 August 2022

At last Tuesday night’s meeting, Council voted unanimously to urgently investigate ways to address the issue of food relief in the Inner West.

“Inner West Police have reported a rise in food theft and Addison Road Community Organisation have said there is also a sharp rise in people accessing its food relief services over the last six weeks,” said Councillor Pauline Lockie, who moved the motion.

“What’s really concerning is how closely these rises have followed the recent increases we’ve seen in the cost of living.

“There hasn't been the time lag we might normally expect, and that’s because we’re now seeing everything we rely on going up in price at once, and I think it’s tipping a lot of people who were just managing to hold on after a really tough few years over the edge,” Councillor Lockie said.

Council voted unanimously to:

• Work with South Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (SSROC) on developing a coordinated response on this issue

• Write to the Prime Minister, the Premier and relevant Ministers about this emerging issue, and request that they provide urgent funding to provide food relief

• Work in partnership with Police, local food relief services, local shopping centres, and other relevant stakeholders to raise awareness of available support

• Investigate ways to provide additional funding to local food relief organisations to help them deliver these services to residents

Councillor Liz Atkins, who seconded the motion, said she was proud Council had stepped up during the COVID crisis to help vulnerable residents and it was time to look at what further assistance could be provided.

“That funding made a real, direct and positive impact in the community,” she said. “It’s right for us to once again investigate how we can address this acute need in our community.”

Councillor Lockie said, “To their credit, the police have launched community outreach and education to try and prevent theft and keep people out of the justice system, which is really commendable.

“This is a much broader issue that goes beyond our borders, and if state and federal governments don't act quickly, a lot of vulnerable people are going to fall through the cracks.”

For media enquiries, contact Elizabeth Heath, Media and Communications Coordinator, 9392 5334 or Elizabeth.Heath@innerwest.nsw.gov.au

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Page last updated: 29 Nov 2022