DEMAND on the city's foodbank has increased significantly since COVID hit, as more families find themselves struggling financially in the wake of the pandemic.
The foodbank, The Little Pantry, operates out of The Greens on William, and already has hundreds of families registered on its books. Club manager, Rebecca Mathie, said demand on the service is increasing.
It runs every Thursday (except public holidays) between 11-1pm and 3 and 4pm.
Each week clients have over 100 items available to choose from ranging from soy milk to spaghetti, rice, biscuits, breakfast cereal and fruit, vegetables and bread. Each item is sold at a significantly discounted rate and clients can choose 11 items for $20, 22 items for $30 right up to 50 items for $60.
Ms Mathie said she has seen more people use the service since COVID-19 hit, due mainly to people being out out of work, and losing their main income streams.
However, the good news is more people are now able to access the service; you no longer need a health care card or Centrelink card to source items from the foodbank.
Ms Mathie said the change came about because they cold see there were a lot of families who were struggling to make ends meet.
"They might not have a concession card or Centrelink card, but still need assistance," she said.
She said it was a similar situation for refugees and asylum seekers, they don't get government assistance, but still need help from services like the foodbank.
Ms Mathie said when COVID hit back in march, the foodbank had to transform rapidly to ensure it could continue to operate.
Thankfully for it's clients, they have remained open during the pandemic, quickly implementing change to ensure strict compliance with government regulations.
Ms Mathie said the foodbank introduced an online ordering system, which has worked incredibly well.
Clients can source and choose their items on the Greens website or Facebook page, place their order and then volunteers pack it ready for collection.
Ms Mathie said it was all about minimising contact and the time people spent on site. They also had to ensure strict social distancing measures were in place to protect both staff and visitors.
For clients without access to the internet, they were still able to come and order in person, they just weren't able to come inside.
"They give us the list and we pack it. We've found the changes more efficient, and more user friendly. Clients don't have to sit and wait outside in the cold," she said.