Bills stretch budgets to the limit

INCREASING electricity and food costs will force a growing number of working families to turn to St Vincent de Paul in the lead-up to Christmas.

This week Vinnies launched its Christmas appeal to provide financial assistance, clothing, food hampers and gifts for people who would otherwise wake up to nothing on Christmas morning.

Vinnies’ St Josephs conference president Marie Wilkins said not only had there been a rise in living costs, but also an increase in people with full time jobs finding they could not cover their bills.

Mrs Wilkins wanted to remind people there was no need to be embarrassed about seeking help.

“There has been a significant rise in employed people seeking assistance due to the rise in electricity and food costs,” she said.

“St Vincent de Paul welcomes people with a friendly, compassionate and non-judgemental manner and we are willing to talk, listen and refer them to other community agencies, which may help ease the burden.”

Mrs Wilkins said all donations received during the Christmas appeal would go towards providing gifts and extra Christmas food for households. 

New statistics released by Vinnies show that during the Christmas period, from  November last year to January this year, Vinnies provided $235,423 worth of assistance to people in the Orange and Bathurst regions. 

This money included $122,838 worth of food vouchers and $75, 321 helping people pay their energy bills.

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