Article by Marilyn Rodrigues, as published in The Catholic Weekly
A number of Catholic charities are bracing for the impact of a barrage of petrol and other price hikes on essentials on their services.
Financial experts expect inflation to rise dramatically due to soaring energy prices and the ongoing supply chain woes caused by the pandemic and the Russian-Ukraine war.
At the same time, Queensland and New South Wales farmers are warning that food prices may be further pushed up after this month’s flood disaster.
Charities are concerned that the rising costs of living will hurt the poorer hardest, but some will themselves face increasing pressure to make ends meet.
Smaller providers serving thousands of people each week on the smell of an oily rag and with no ability to save up cash reserves will be in trouble if inflation outstrips government funding and charitable donations.
Carrie Deane, Community Manager of Canice’s Kitchen in Darlinghurst, said running a daily meal and social services homeless outreach on a shoestring budget means that any price hikes will be keenly felt.
Problem: it’s getting harder and harder to help those on the margins
“We’re small but able to deliver a lot, due to wonderful volunteers and local support,” she said.
“But I still spend a lot of time on securing funding to cover staffing and other daily operating costs. Usual inflation rises on top of that is something we must think about and will have to make work.”
Ms Deane said that securing some COVID-related government funding had helped, particularly early in the pandemic but estimated that additional costs as a result of COVID were in excess of $150,000.