AN Ipswich charity that provides food for more than 4000 people each week has come under attack … and it’s the very people they help who are the cause of the problem.
The Ipswich Foodbarn was established in 2011 after many residents were left destitute following the major flood that smashed the city.
Since that time, they have helped put food on the table of thousands of local families regularly providing free fruit and food hampers of dry and cold food.
Many now depend on regularly getting the two hampers which for just $35 give them enough groceries to keep two adults and two children fed for more than three days.
While it’s a known fact that major supermarkets are having trouble keeping their shelves stocked, some Foodbarn clients aren’t aware that the charity is also having trouble sourcing products.
It’s when these families drive to Foodbarn in the Ipswich CBD only to find there are no hampers left the trouble starts.
Foodbarn Managing director, Qim Kauwhata, said it was once a case they would get an angry client once a month, now its three or four times a day.
“We are doing our best and it’s totally unwarranted that our volunteer staff should get abused because we have run out of food,” she said.
Foodbarn has more than 18,000 people of their books and new clients are calling in weekly because they can’t afford the grocery bill which is going up and up.
“Our centre has become a food drive-thru as limited car parking out the front of the old McMahon’s Soft Drink Factory at Woodend means clients have to stay in their cars and we bring the hampers out to them,” Qim said.
“Today we will process 300 cars and also we’ll pack bags for the many who walk here.”
Foodbarn sources its foods from the major distribution centre of Foodbank in Brisbane, and they are having difficulty keeping up with the demand from the state wide charities who use their services.
Asked if she had a wish list Qim said it would be firstly to find a new distribution centre that didn’t require the congestion of cars out the front each day.
“Our rent has also just gone up substantially here and that’s made a search for a new factory an urgent requirement,” she said.
“We also need a new truck that can handle eight pallets at a time and for it to only require an open licence so we don’t have to have a specialist driver.
“But my greatest wish is for people to stop abusing volunteers who are donating their time to helping others.
“Why would people come along and give up their time only to be humiliated?
“It’s hard enough getting the many volunteers we need without having this rubbish happening,” she said.
“I have come to a point where I just don’t know how we are doing to deal with the problems we face.”
If you can help the Foodbarn give Qim a call.