When we had our busiest day ever last week, with 89 people accessing emergency food relief that overwhelming Tuesday, we realised we had to make some decisions.
Numbers have been steadily increasing and the amount of fresh produce available for our Emergency Food Relief Hub at this time of year declining. Here’s a comparison snapshot of the numbers of people we see each month:
Given that it is also the beginning of winter and there is going to be a delay before planted crops are ready for harvest we decided it was better to close one of our three days and provide an abundant amount of produce on two days, rather than try to stretch it out over three.
We are always happy to have a chat about what we do and always happy to show people – we have a long standing open invitation to all elected representatives and others in the community to come have a wander – and we were happy to oblige getting this important community situation out into the wider world.
But its not just about the amount of produce on hand. It is also about the people who help us out. We have two work for the dole projects open at the moment and are supposed to have 15 participants across both. We have averaged 0/15 for the past few weeks and lets just say we aren’t being inundated with referrals. This makes it really difficult for us to get the amount of farm work completed that we have planned. It makes it difficult for us to take on individual or groups of volunteers as technically we need to keep enough work available for those 15 WFD people. These contracts have been a bit of a shamoozle from the start what with new Job Active organisations getting contracts and new systems for everyone to get their heads around. We get that, but it significantly impacts the community groups who have to try and manage the day to days. There has to be a better way.
Some good news!
The Tasmanian Greens announced that Produce to the People will be one of the organisations MP’s will donate their recent 10.5% pay increase to. We are thrilled to be recognised and will put those funds to very good use.
You may have noticed – there is going to be a Federal election! Our President is signing letters today to go out to candidates in Braddon about their possible commitment to PttP and we will post our letter and their replies here for you to read.
That’s it for now.
All PttP employees and volunteers are off getting their own stuff done/putting their feet up/ getting ready for next week!!
Grow, gather, give – love the one you’re with xx