A trial of free community lunches in Katoomba over December and January has revealed a strong need for the service.
Blue Mountains Soul Kitchen organisers have served more than 90 lunches at Katoomba Civic Centre over the past four Sundays but fear demand will only increase following Federal Government cuts to sole parent benefits.
“The recent reduction to benefits for single parents, effective as of New Year’s Day, are a concern,” said a Soul Kitchen spokeswoman.
“We anticipate that the number of community members needing support will increase and services will be further stretched.”
Australian Council of Social Service CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie said that “single parents will see a cut of between $60 and $110 per week” as a result of the changes.
“This will have a devastating impact on single parent families and their children. These families are already struggling as they live below the poverty line,” she said.
Soul Kitchen will hold the fifth free lunch of the six week trial this Sunday, January 20 from 10am to 2pm.
Soul Kitchen co-ordinators Sarah McLoughlin and Rosa Del Ponte are now looking for sponsorship to keep the project running.
Soul Kitchen is an initiative of Earth Recovery Australia with support from the Blue Mountains Family Support Service.
The six week trial has been made possible by donations and sponsorship from a range of local businesses and organisations.
More information is available at www.earthrecoveryaustralia.org.au.