Appeal to ease fesetive costs

Uniting Wyndham's Maddy Farnaby and Patricia Chimbwanda are encouraging locals to donate to their Christmas Gifts for Families Appeal. (Ljubica Vrankovic)

Cade Lucas

Charities and not-for-profits in Wyndham are expecting more families than ever to ask for help this Christmas.

The cost of living crisis and rising interest rates have already led to a spike in people accessing food banks and poverty services this year and with the Reserve Bank raising interest rates again on Melbourne Cup Day and Wyndham having one of the highest mortgage rates in the nation, the situation is expected to get even worse before the end of 2023.

Uniting’s Emergency Relief Coordinator for Wyndham Maddy Farnaby said there had huge demand for their services this year as cost-of-living pressures stretched budgets to breaking point.

“We’ve provided an average of 156 food parcels a week to Wyndham households this year, helping to feed potentially more than 600 people, many of whom will be children,” Ms Farnaby said.

To try and ensure children and families across Wyndham don’t go without this festive season, Uniting Victoria and Tasmania are urging people to donate to their Christmas Gifts for Families Appeal.

Donations of new gifts such as toys and puzzles, sports equipment, books, new clothes, e-gift cards or movie vouchers and gifts for adults are encouraged, while gifts can also be purchased online and delivered to Uniting’s Werribee office.

And so families have something to put on the table on Christmas Day, donations of non-perishable food are also welcome.

While the current appeal relates to the festive period, Ms Farnaby said Uniting would still be busy helping with basic necessities too.

“Whether it’s the cost of rent, gas and electricity or putting fuel in the car, we know people are really struggling. Affording the necessities is now out of reach for many and they’re having to choose between putting food on the table and paying their bills,” she said.

“We support many renters – people on low incomes or income support – and they will be concerned that the interest rate rises will again lead to further increases to their rents, which will increase the financial pressures already facing these households.”

Donations can be made at Uniting Wyndham office at 1 Duncans Road, Werribee or at visit