Beaudesert benefits but Foodbank faces COVID-19 challenges

FOODBANK, Queensland's largest hunger relief charity is facing the most challenging time in its 25-year history.

Reverend David Hawke from Beaudesert Uniting Church said he had been picking up food from the Foodbank in Brisbane for about a year.

"I go in to the Foodbank every Friday and come back home with about a tonne of food," he said.

"Demand went down a bit when Jobkeeper was introduced but we are experiencing an upsurge now and we anticipate even greater demand when Jobkeeper payments drop back."

"In the past we just had people ring us when they needed food but because it's too demanding we are thinking of changing to a once a week pickup arrangement,

"We will put together packs that will last a family of four about 10 days. To cover costs of travel we are also hoping those who can afford it will put in $10, for which they will get about $150 worth of food."

Rev Hawke said food packs were available for those in need, with no need to provide Centrelink details or prove their level of need

"We don't want people to think they have to be begging for food," he said.

"If people tell us they are hungry then we have food for them."

Foodbank Qld chief executive, Sara Harrup, said the organisation had been forced to pivot quickly to meet increasing demand for its services.

"COVID-19 has affected our ability to provide for people in need at a time when they need us most," she said.

"We are experiencing the highest demand recorded in our 25-year history and bracing for higher demand in September when we expect government support packages to end."

Foodbank said it had adapted services to distribute food relief hampers each week to people in need through its charity network across the state.

"Each week we have an army of volunteers packing more than 1000 food hampers," Ms Harrup said.

"These food hampers are designed to support Queenslanders doing it tough by providing shelf staple nutritious foods including cereal, pasta, rice, meals bases and tinned fruit."