$1.3 million for emergency food distribution to support Tasmanians

The Albanese Labor Government is delivering on its election commitment to assist Tasmanians struggling with food insecurity by providing $1.3 million in funding to Loaves and Fishes through the Tasmanian Government.

Each week, Loaves and Fishes collects around 25,000 kilograms of donated produce from local providers, and purchases items from local producers. With this food Loaves and Fishes then redistributes it to those most in need in the form of ready-to-eat meals, school breakfast supplies, made-to-order food hampers and fresh fruit and vegetables.

Surplus and donated food is rescued and redistributed through around 350 partner agencies.

The additional funding will deliver on the Government’s Loaves and Fishes Emergency Food Distribution election commitment and will support Loaves and Fishes in acquiring an operational warehouse to provide long-term surety to enable the organisation to continue their vital work.

Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said the Albanese Labor Government is proud to support organisations who have the interests of Australia’s most vulnerable at the heart of what they do.

“The delivery of this project acknowledges the joint commitment of the Commonwealth and Tasmanian Government to providing access to food for Tasmanians most in need,” Minister Rishworth said.

“This additional support will help Loaves and Fishes redistribute donated food to more than 300 school and community partners throughout the state.”

Loaves and Fishes also provides on-hand kitchen training and volunteering opportunities for at risk youth, people with disabilities and unemployed people.

“This warehouse commitment will not only help to provide certainty to the Loaves and Fishes food relief program, but will also increase community engagement and volunteering opportunities,” Minister Rishworth said.

Senator for Tasmania Anne Urquhart said standing up for those who needed it in communities was a “core Labor principle” and organisations like Loaves and Fishes represented the “best of our community”.

“That’s why the Albanese Labor Government had no hesitation in providing $1.3 million that will assist Loaves and Fishes to continue its vital work,” Senator Urquhart said.

“When people are in need, it’s organisations like Loaves and Fishes that are often the first to assist. Providing them with the resources they require so they can assist those most in need in the form of ready-to-eat meals, school breakfast supplies, made-to-order food hampers and fresh fruit and vegetables, is part of our commitment to Building a Better Braddon.”

Tasmanian Minister for Community Services and Development Jo Palmer welcomed the Federal Government’s commitment to further support Tasmanians struggling with food insecurity.

“The Rockliff Liberal Government is a proud supporter of Loaves and Fishes Tasmania. This is an excellent example of the Australian and Tasmanian Governments working together to meet the needs of our most vulnerable community members,” Minister Palmer said.

“We have provided record funding to Loaves and Fishes to prepare and distribute meals to Tasmanians doing it tough.

“The Tasmanian Government knows how important this service is to our community and we thank the staff and team of volunteers at Loaves and Fishes for their commitment to local communities.”

The $1.3 million in funding from the Commonwealth is on top of more than $1.2 million allocated in 2022-23 for Tasmanian Emergency Relief providers in response to the impact on demand for services due to cost of living pressures.

More information, including how to find an Emergency Relief provider, is available on the Department of Social Services website.