Demand for food support set to rise again with COVID job support rate cut in March.
Armidale Uniting Church’s Reverend Jo-Anne Smalbil says the cut to COVID-19 job support payments in March is expected to see demand for food support at her church return to levels seen prior to the pandemic.
Whilst some Uniting Church locations like Sydney’s inner-western suburb of Newtown have seen a rise in demand for food support of almost 30 percent since COVID hit, others like Armidale in north-eastern NSW have seen the opposite.
“There had been a significant drop in demand for our food service after the pandemic began,” Rev. Smalbil said.
“At this stage, it has increased a little following the rate reduction we saw in September, but not back to what it was pre-COVID.”
“I imagine it’ll just go back to what it was before once jobseeker is cut altogether in March.”
More than 300 people usually attend the Armidale Uniting Church’s Christmas lunch that has been cancelled this year due to the pandemic and social distancing requirements.
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Photos supplied by Adam Marshall MP