According to data from the 2021 Census and Homelessness NSW, homelessness has slightly decreased in NSW but has increased in regional areas. The Hunter Valley (excluding Newcastle) recorded a 32.5% jump, and the Mid-North Coast experienced a 25.9% increase.
These devastating figures mean more people need our help. At CatholicCare’s Community Kitchens we’re also seeing this increase in demand - our service delivery has doubled this year with hundreds of people relying on our service for food every week.
However, it’s not just our Kitchens that are providing support.
People are turning to our Community Care Pantry for food staples and more than 100 meals are delivered to Motto Farm Motel in Heatherbrae each week to feed families and individuals who are waiting for permanent accommodation.
Food Programs Coordinator Michelle Robinson said, “There are almost 100 people each week and most residents we support at Heatherbrae are awaiting permanent accommodation, sadly some have been waiting for over a year.”
“Meal support is important as many residents do not have transport and food services are very limited in this area. Cooking facilities and food storage are also minimal in the motel rooms.”
CatholicCare partners with Hume Housing and the Port Stephens Neighbourhood Centre to provide this service. Meals have been delivered to the motel since March this year.
For many, the delivery is vital – on receiving a meal one resident said, “This is the most nutritious food I have eaten in two weeks”.
At CatholicCare, we can’t provide these services without your support. Our Food Programs receive no government funding and rely on donations to keep operating.
By donating to our 2023 Fundraising Appeal, you could help us make a difference. Click here to find out more.
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