Examiner Readers dig deep to assist disadvantaged Tasmanians.

The State President of the St Vincent de Paul Society, Mr Mark Gaetani, has expressed his gratitude to The Examiner newspaper and its readers for their overwhelming generosity and donations to the Examiner Winter Appeal.

“The Examiner informed us last week that the Society is the beneficiary of $57,500 from donations collected through the Examiner Winter Appeal. This is such a gift to so many individuals and families in need. It could not have come at a more critical time. We are so grateful,” Mr Gaetani said.

“No one needs reminding that we are all facing cost-of-living stress. Those who can afford it, simply tighten their belts; but there are also hundreds of Tasmanians that wake up every morning who are worried about their immediate future. The cost of everyday living goes up on a daily basis. Mortgage payments, rents, food, energy, and fuel are all going up in price, forcing many families to make unimaginable decisions about what they can afford. Some are so desperate they are reverting to crime. Shoplifting in supermarkets has risen by 30%.

“Power bills have increased by 11.88%. It might not seem very much, but on a winter power bill, with all other costs increasing, and Christmas around the corner, the Society has experienced a spike in demand for assistance from people who need assistance to pay their bills.

“The demand for food, has become such an issue that Vinnies had to call for urgent food donations to restock our depleted pantries. The number of families and individuals who have never called on Vinnies for food assistance before are lining up for basic items. Vinnies Vans are serving more meals to the point of distributing meals destined for a school lunch the next day.

“How can it be, in this day and age, a University of Tasmania report, “Is high food insecurity the new normal in Tasmania?”, can find close to 1 in 5 (18%) Tasmanians have run out of food and cannot afford to buy more?

“Tasmanian households are experiencing severe food insecurity, meaning they are regularly going without food; and when this happens, they turn to Vinnies and other charities for assistance.

“A shortage of affordable housing and rising rents means some people have no choice but to live in tents in our parks and public spaces. Homelessness is no longer in the shadows. Homelessness is highly visible almost everywhere we look. The homeless have to cook their food on community barbecues. It used to be that a barbecue was a happy, social get together. Now, it is the only facility available and a necessity for homeless people sleeping rough.

“For over 100 years, Examiner readers have opened their hearts and their wallets to help the less fortunate in our community. It is wonderful that so many people care enough to donate to the Examiner Winter Appeal. Their generosity is overwhelming. Every cent of the $57,500 donated to Vinnies, through the Examiner Winter Appeal, will be used to pay a utility bill, purchase food, help school children with clothing, school shoes, or a nutritious lunch. $57,500 will help many of our neighbours who, even though you might not know it, are doing it tough at the moment.

“Our thanks and prayers are with everyone who donated to the Examiner Winter Appeal and with The Examiner newspaper for its commitment to community spirit. It is both humbling and uplifting and the St Vincent de Paul Society, along with all the other charities I am sure, are all so grateful. Thank you,” Mr Gaetani said.

Media contact, Mark Wells: +61 414 015 966 (24-hours)
© St Vincent de Paul Society and MWPA.

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