This year’s Vinnies Christmas appeal will focus on the distressing number of children who are going hungry due to poverty across the country.
A NSW Council of Social Service report earlier this year found that the state’s highest poverty rate is endured by children under 15 with 22 percent living in a household that has run out of food at one point over the past year.
One in five have experienced extreme hunger at some stage in that time and 10 go all day without eating anything at least once a week.
“For thousands of families, Christmas isn’t a time of celebration but of hunger, hardship and stress,” said Jack de Groot, CEO of St Vincent de Paul Society NSW.
“That’s why we hold our annual Christmas Appeal to support people doing it tough in NSW. Thanks to the community’s generosity, we’ll be helping thousands of families struggling with poverty to put a special meal on the table for Christmas.”
Half the people who approached Vinnies for support this year needed help to pay for groceries, and the needs are expected to increase at Christmas as other costs and expectations mount, Mr de Groot said.
“We aren’t talking about the trappings but just basic food to ensure they are not going hungry,” he added. “It’s a deeply distressing reality that children aren’t immune from the poverty crisis in our society.
“When kids grow up with hunger or a lack of healthy food, it affects their development and wellbeing in the long term.”
Donations can be made at www.vinnies.org.au, on 13 18 12 and at all Vinnies shops.