BATTLERS will be given more say over what makes it onto their plate on Christmas Day thanks to the introduction of shopping food vouchers at St Vincent de Paul.
Rather than packaging and delivering hampers to hundreds of people in need, the charity will now allocate $75 family vouchers and $50 single person vouchers to be spent at IGA Supermarket, Harris Farm Market and Scott Munro’s butchery.
St Vincent de Paul’s Bathurst Central Council president Bob Lulham said the voucher system enables people to select their own special items for Christmas although they’re not allowed to purchase alcohol, cigarettes or pet food.
“The vouchers give people dignity by allowing them to select what they want,” Mr Lulham said
Mr Lulham said he expects Vinnies to donate at least 100 family vouchers this year and 100 single vouchers.
“These are mostly going to our regular clients who come in from time to time,” he said.
Mr Lulham said this year the charity may also have an increase in the numbers of elderly people who have battled with increased living expenses and need a little help putting on a Christmas dinner for their families.
St Vincent de Paul’s diocesan executive officer Frank Moes praised the voucher scheme.
“[Vouchers] allows them to choose something by themselves, they can choose something special ... who are we to tell them what to have for Christmas?,” he said.
“Also people have particular dietary requirements so it gets a bit tricky when you’re putting together Christmas hampers.”