Pressure on charities at Christmas

TASMANIAN charities are crying out for assistance this Christmas after being inundated with requests for emergency relief.

Tasmanian Council of Social Services executive officer Tony Reidy said maximum support was needed for Tasmanian suppliers of emergency relief.

"Our member organisations say a large percentage of people approaching them for emergency relief are doing so for the first time in their lives," Mr Reidy said.

St Vincent de Paul Society executive officer Frances Bartlett said her organisation alone assisted an additional 1053 people in emergency relief for the first time this year.

Last week Premier Lara Giddings announced a further $270,000 in funding for food hampers to hunger relief organisations Foodbank Tasmania and SecondBite.

Mr Reidy welcomed the funding but said it was not sufficient.

"Both the federal and state government need to provide maximum support for emergency relief, as well as local businesses and the general community providing financial or in-kind support to charities assisting the most disadvantaged people in our midst," Mr Reidy said.

Ms Bartlett said her organisation would need to boost its fund-raising efforts to accommodate the extra pressure on Vinnies centres.

Foodbank had been moving up to 15 tonnes of emergency relief in recent weeks and said demand from charities had never been greater.

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