Rollback of COVID supplement adding to demand for meals

Rollback of COVID supplement adding to demand for meals

The Moderator of the Uniting Church NSW & ACT, Rev. Simon Hansford, said demand for meals at the Uniting Church’s Jordan Cafe in Sydney’s inner-western suburb of Newtown had spiked almost 30 percent since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, with close to 250 meals handed out on their busiest days.

Rev. Hansford and Rev. Bill Crews spoke to the ABC Radio’s World Today program over the Christmas period amid reports from churches that demand for meals – which had initially dropped when the government introduced the $500 a fortnight COVID supplement to welfare recipients – was increasing again as this government support was being rolled back.

“There are fears that the number of people going hungry will substantially increase this year when the COVID supplement drops again and then ceases completely on 31 March,” Rev. Hansford said.

Rev. Hansford said the good work of the Jordan Cafe and Bill Crews Foundation are just a few examples of how our food services have had to adapt quickly this year to ensure the safety of our community is balanced with our basic human need to keep connected.

“Across our Uniting Church, and the diverse communities we serve, people from our congregations will be offering food support to those in need, but COVID-19 promises to increase the demands on these services and to alter significantly how we deliver them,” Rev. Hansford said.

Pastor Sam Stamos says demand for meals at the Uniting Church’s Jordan Cafe in Sydney’s inner-western suburb of Newtown rose by almost 30 percent after COVID hit.

“Since COVID, we transitioned quite quickly to being a takeaway only service. We have seen an increase in need, people coming in for a meal and coming in for support.

“The members of our community are very appreciative that we can stay open and they know the Jordan Cafe is a place where they can get a meal, other supplies, but also check-in.”

The Uniting Church NSW.ACT Synod Office has published a printable PDF directory to help those in need to find support in NSW and the ACT:

If you run a Uniting Church food service and would like it to be added to this directory please email


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