An October 2021 survey conducted by SecondBite has revealed that eight in 10 agencies expected demand for food support at Christmas to increase, with nearly half the agencies expecting demand to increase significantly.
The survey was sent to 872 agency partners nationally and was one of the most extensive surveys SecondBite has conducted of its charity partners. It is planned as an annual activity to gauge changing need and demographic of clients.
The Christmas demand is due primarily to the impact of COVID-19 on employment and the subsequent financial strain experienced by individuals and families, reduced government support options, agencies shutting down over the Christmas period and Christmas generally being a more expensive time of the year.
Agencies’ primary concerns centred on sourcing adequate food, capacity to meet demand, sourcing gifts and volunteer participation during the Christmas/New Year period.
The survey also highlighted the impact that the pandemic had on volunteer numbers – many of whom are retired and/or elderly people who are at greater risk of illness – and disruption to on-site meal services.
The demand was most evident among unemployed and homeless people, single parent families and the elderly.
Pleasingly, the survey highlighted that 87% of SecondBite’s agency partners were satisfied with the services they received, particularly in relation to our delivery and warehouse collection services, staff contact and the quality of our communications.
With another year of pandemic uncertainty ahead, SecondBite’s services will again be in very high demand as we continue to work with donors, producers, state and federal governments and corporates to rescue and redistribute good quality food for our 1400 agencies and their clients.
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