“For every five requests that my kids ask of me, I can probably only manage one.”
The local charity based in southwest Sydney supplies all of the necessities she needs to get by since 2021, including ingredients for Middle Eastern foods, pasta, chickpeas, lentils, hygiene products and bathroom essentials.
Lighthouse Community Services offer regular “food runs”, delivering essentials to their registered families in need. Source: Facebook / Lighthouse Community Services
Before meeting Mr Sindyan, life for Hafiza was even harder. Having fled a relationship marred by domestic violence five months after migrating to Australia. Hafiza said she was left to navigate a new country alone with little English and no family support.
Increased workload for charities ‘absolutely exhausting’
Lighthouse Community Services supports 50 families in southwest Sydney, one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse regions in the country.
Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers said Australians understand the stresses involved in making ends meet at home.
“We’ve started the work, we’re working around the clock to make sure that we can implement our economic plan to grow the economy without adding to these inflationary pressures and get some decent wages growth.”
‘Almost like a third-world country’
These include asylum seekers and refugees, the elderly, people who live with a disability and those with temporary visas who are living in limbo.
Many groups like Community Care Kitchen have bore the brunt of rising costs of groceries and necessities as many Australians from low socioeconomic backgrounds need more support than ever before. Source: Supplied / Sana Karanouh
“The majority of families we look after are living below the poverty line, so when we see a rise in the cost of living, we know it’s them who are going to hurt the most,” she said.
What used to take Ms Karanouh and co-founder Rima Waizani four hours daily to assess requests for help is now taking them more than triple that time over the past month.
Doumuoa Diab Howcher is one of fourteen volunteers from Community Care Kitchen, packing groceries for families in need. Source: Supplied / Sana Karanouh
Because the cost of living is affecting all Australians, Ms Karanouh said the “domino effect” of rising expenses means her organisation is receiving fewer donations from individuals and local businesses.
“It’s almost like a third-world country when you step into the houses of these families and see the way that they’re living … I think it’s just very confronting for anybody to see.”