The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) has seen a massive spike in demand for food and household essentials since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people seeking asylum are not eligible for a safety net, while they go through the process of seeking asylum, leaving them at risk of destitution.
For those who have lost employment through the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no protection through Government systems like JobKeeper or JobSeeker, as refugees are deemed ineligible.
These people, including many families, are solely reliant on organisations such as the ASRC to provide food and other essentials, to help them survive. Prior to the pandemic, the ASRC Foodbank was supporting around 700 people across 220 households. That number has since skyrocketed to 1600 across more than 600 households.
The issue has been compounded by the strict conditions of Stage 4 Lockdown, which have seen the ASRC Foodbank unable to accept in-person donations from the general public. During this period they have been limited to direct-from-supplier donations, such as Coles Online. With a threefold increase in demand for food since the start of covid, the program is struggling to keep food and goods on the shelf for people.
The good news is that you can help by purchasing food and groceries for the ASRC Foodbank online. Coles has created a special shopping portal for the organisation, and the ASRC website lists step-by-step instructions on how to shop.
There is an extensive list of most-needed food items on the website – https://bit.ly/3mPCgxx – but the most urgently needed items are updated regularly on the ASRC Foodbank’s’s social feeds: