Sky-high power prices leave poor unable to feed themselves

Sky-high power prices leave poor unable to feed themselves

Sky-high power prices have resulted in Sydney’s largest local welfare provider, The Exodus Foundation, being swamped by people unable to afford to feed themselves.

The founder of The Exodus Foundation, the Rev. Bill Crews, said Thursday’s announcement by the pricing regulator of up to a further 18.1 per cent rise in power prices “will be a crippling blow for the poorest in the community”.

The Exodus Foundation provides 800 free meals a day to Sydney’s poor and hungry and, according to Mr Crews, “This week we had our busiest lunchtime meal service in 25 years. Numbers were up 20 per cent on usual!”

Demand for the free meals provided by The Exodus Foundation has been steadily rising for the past 18 months. Many families report that they are simply unable to afford to cook hot meals.

“We can track how the increase in power prices has had the knock-on effect of increasing demand for our services,” said Mr Crews. “Higher power prices not only make electricity a luxury for poor people, but also leaves them with less money to spend on other essentials like food.”

Demand for emergency relief assistance – help to pay utilities like electricity – has skyrocketed too, he said.

“Our emergency relief assistance team is now booked out until the 9th of May. Put simply, the demand for assistance is outstripping out ability to supply it.”

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