Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Charities Serve New Needy; More Ask for Help with Food, Work, Utilities since Economic Crunch

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Charities Serve New Needy; More Ask for Help with Food, Work, Utilities since Economic Crunch

Article excerpt

Byline: Melinda Siegmeier melinda.siegmeier@capnews.com.au

ON Monday a 39-year-old mother-of-four, on her regular shopping trip, wandered around a Rockhampton clothing store looking for a bargain.

Pulling out different items she was impressed to find a cute swimsuit for her daughter and happily went to the counter to pay.

This may sound like your typical shopping trip, but this woman wasn't walking through a shopping centre browsing at the new clothes - she was at the Anglicare clothing store in Denison Street.

And when it comes to cutting back on costs, this Allenstown woman is not alone.

Yesterday the St Vincent de Paul Society reported a 16% increase in services and sales since the economic downturn.

Anglicare Central Queensland chief executive Philip Shade agreed, saying more people had been coming to the charity for assistance in food, utilities and job interviews in the past 12 months. He compares falling into a financial rut to "like being in a whirlpool".

"The further you get sucked down the harder it is to get out," he said.

This week is Anti-Poverty Week, which aims to strengthen public understanding of the causes and consequences of poverty and encourage research and action to address the problems.

The woman, who asked not to be named, said she regularly shopped at Anglicare to cut back on costs.

She said she would rather set aside her money to provide her children with a happy and healthy upbringing.

"I always wondered what I did differently to everyone else to end up like this," she said.

"The cost of living has definitely gone up and our pay rates just don't match.

"It's getting harder now because the kids are growing up and require more."

Both the woman and her husband worked full-time.

Mr Shade said the increase in demand was reflected by a new group which traditionally had not needed help, but did now.

"It's a new group who traditionally work and have been living on the edge, but with employment loss, were tipped into crisis," he said. …

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