The 2016 census found roughly 25,000 people were recorded as being homeless in Victoria. This is an increase of 11% from the 2011 census, and given the difficulties around surveying the vulnerable in our community, the real number is likely to be far greater. Homelessness can result in significant social and economic costs for our communities, and on an individual level the impacts can be devastating. Homelessness often results in depression, difficulty in pursuing an education or holding down a job, and a number of health issues such as substance abuse and poor nutrition.
As part of The Big Umbrella’s A Real Meal program, several people from our Advisian Melbourne office took to Flinders Street in the heart of the city to help The Big Umbrella team feed the homeless community. By rescuing an astounding 218 tonnes of surplus food from corporate events and the food service industry, The Big Umbrella has served a massive 102,500 meals.
Though it’s not just about serving food; it’s about giving the time of day to listen and talk to those that society so easily ignores.
“The real impact that we experienced supporting the food station is providing a ‘real meal’ as well as taking the time to chat, listen and engage with the community, building trust, friendship and having a good conversation – a basic human need, really!” Nadia Jaworski, Social Infrastructure Lead, Victoria and South Australia.
The Big Umbrella Foundation is committed to the principle that every person should live free from poverty and exploitation. As an NGO based in Australia, The Big Umbrella Foundation works locally and abroad to address issues impacting on marginalised people, including those affected by human rights abuses, exploitation, forced labour and homelessness.