As COVID-19 causes mounting financial pressure and job losses, local charities and not-for-profit groups are looking at how they can continue to support Ipswich’s most vulnerable people.
Ipswich Assist is one local charity which provides food boxes to those in need. Manager Jason Budden said the group is committed to staying open to help people across the city through the pandemic.
“We’re committed to staying the course and pulling through this,” Mr Budden said.
“We’re providing food relief at the moment and have a few volunteers out doing home drop offs for people in isolation, including one mum who has a severely disabled boy and can’t leave the house right now.”
Staffed by volunteers, Ipswich Assist will continue to operate its weekly lunches for the homeless each Wednesday, while bringing in stricter measures to adhere to social distancing and prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
“We’ve moved to pre-packaged meals, salad rolls, pies and cakes, and it’s become more of a 15 minute window to come and grab some food rather than a sit down meal,” Mr Budden said.
“It’s sad because we can’t offer the same social interaction that a lot of these people do need, but at least we’re providing a meal and some nutrients.”
Mr Budden praised the Ipswich community for how well they have always come together during times of crisis and urged everyone to work together now and in the coming months to help those less fortunate.
“Ipswich people are wonderful at this sort of thing. We’re crazy good at getting together when things go wrong, and there couldn’t be a much worse situation than we’re looking at right now, particularly in how badly the homeless and marginalised are going to be hit by this,” Mr Budden said.
“We’re asking people to give as they can – food and other essentials are our main need right now, but we’re also after boxes to put food in so we can deliver to people in isolation, or if you can give your time to come and pack hampers or help with logistics.
“Our community needs to band together as much as possible right now.
“The fact that people are wanting to help is so encouraging.”
Donations can be delivered to Ipswich Assist at 20 Limestone St on Mondays and Tuesdays between 9am and 3pm. If you are in need of assistance, please contact Ipswich Assist on 3413 1070 or email email@example.com