The peak NSW body that supports the delivery of quality services for vulnerable children is calling for supermarket limits to be lifted for charities.
Fams CEO Julie Hourigan Ruse, said the grocery sector needs to lift restrictions on charities, as they are stopping them from being able to fill boxes with food and the necessities of life.
“Fams welcomes the additional $200 million to support charities which provide emergency and food relief as demand surges as a result of coronavirus,” she said.
“The issue is that many charities currently can’t buy enough groceries for vulnerable children and families who need it, because of the current supermarket limits on things like pasta and toilet paper.
“When charities buy more than two packets of toilet paper – it’s not out of personal greed, it’s so we can split it up and give it for free to the families who need it most. The same goes when we purchase flour, pasta, meat and milk – we are buying to provide days of supplies for vulnerable families, not weeks of supplies for our own."
Ms Hourigan Ruse it has created a situation where good intentions are having adverse impacts on vulnerable families.
“This issue is really hitting charities hard, particularly the smaller ones, and particularly ones in regional locations such as Tamworth, Dubbo and the far west," she said.
“We call on the Government to work with the big supermarkets and IGAs to either lift purchase restrictions on charities with an account at a store, or at least increase the limits that apply to us.”
Ms Hourigan Ruse also said the $150 million to combat domestic family and sexual violence needs to include a focus on broader community education as well.
“There is also a broader campaign that needs to be run because fewer kids will be seen by mandatory reporters like teachers, footy coaches and dance instructors in coming months,” she said.
“We need everyone to know that if they suspect a child is in trouble, they need to report it – for the next few months, we need neighbours to do the job teachers or coaches would have done.
“My great fear is the number of kids identified as being at Risk of Significant Harm will go down not because of a lack of violence, but because of a lack of reporting. The phrase ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ will never be truer than over the next few months.”