inTouch clients are more vulnerable than ever during COVID-19. Many women are finding themselves trapped in the home with their abusers while observing ‘Stay at Home’ and social distancing directives. Our client services team has seen an increase in requests for help as new and former clients reach out, often sharing their experiences, in particular how they are facing tremendous financial hardship.

Many of the women we support are on temporary visas, so accessing the support they need to stay safe is often made more difficult as they are ineligible for government support such as Centrelink, or any of the other benefits of the many stimulus packages. This leaves women and their children reliant on charity organisations to meet even their most basic day-to-day needs.

In response to this, inSpire has partnered with local social enterprise, Sibling by Kinfolk, to launch an emergency food relief project, connecting our most vulnerable clients with healthy, wholesome food.

‘For many clients, support from this project has been a lifeline. Women and children who are surviving family violence, who have no way to put food on the table, and almost nowhere else to turn for help.’

– *Sarah, inTouch Case Manager

‘To my clients, these food packs represent far more than just a healthy meal in their stomach. Each pack gifts women dignity, hope, and a moment of happiness as the stresses and uncertainty around food are momentarily lifted.’

– *Vera, inTouch Case Manager

Your Content Goes Here

inTouch staff member drives emergency food relief to clients

What makes our project so special?

Our women. The women and children this project supports are victim-survivors of family violence from migrant and refugee communities experiencing extreme food insecurity. The vast majority of clients referred have no working rights, or have lost their casual employment due to COVID-19, or are caring for young children and have little or no support network in Australia.

Our food. Organic, seasonal, and locally sourced, the emergency food relief packs provided to clients through this project are full of fresh vegetables, free range eggs, local pulses and grains, fresh milk and yoghurt from the dairy, handmade baby food and ready to eat meals cooked by Sibling’s in-house chef.

Our heart. Every single meal and food pack is prepared and delivered with care as the team at Sibling take time to tailor food items to match each family’s needs. Packs are hand delivered to the client by inTouch team members who have volunteered a day in their work week to support the project. This also means that our Case Managers have a unique opportunity to touch base with high-risk clients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

How can I help?

The number of families we can help each week is determined by the number of food packs donated by people in the community. You can purchase a food relief pack through Sibling’s virtual storefront or gift a tax deductible donation to inSpire before June 30. By doing so you’ll be helping to put food on the table for some of Melbourne’s most marginalised women and their families.

Who is Sibling by Kinfolk?

Even while on the brink of imminent closure as a result of COVID-19, Sibling, the sister to Melbourne’s institutional cafe Kinfolk, is going above and beyond to support inTouch clients. Founded with a goal to build inclusive communities, Kinfolk has a long history of partnering with local charities to invest in social projects. Furthermore, Kinfolk facilitates a volunteer training program that provides individuals facing social exclusion the opportunity to build relationships and develop hospitality skills. But with the Kinfolk CBD location temporarily closed due to COVID-19, the enterprise is reliant on continued support from customers to keep their doors open. Grab a takeaway lunch from their Carlton North location or visit their virtual storefront to support the organisation who help make this food relief project possible.

Hover over the image blow to read a message from the team at Sibling by Kinfolk.

“Covid-19 was always going to seriously impact Kinfolk. But we didn’t anticipate that we’d be forced to close two of our three sites almost overnight, or that we’d be worrying about our ability to pay rent for our enterprise, and our staff’s ability to pay their rent at home.
We could argue the biggest surprise has been our communities’ overwhelming show of support to ensure we can weather this turbulent time, and be in a position to continue delivering social impact in new & different ways. Transitioning to takeaway at Sibling, we’ve seen customers queuing up in the worst of weather to support our cafe trade. They’ve also embraced the Sibling Online Shop, which was launched almost overnight to connect our community with local produce, food and sustainable household goods as we navigated the stay-at-home orders.
It is our customers & suppliers support of our food relief partnership with inTouch that has been the most inspiring outcome of this pandemic. As Sibling customers check out grocery orders for themselves, they’re also checking out donations of food relief for inTouch clients. As they buy food hampers for Mother’s Day, they’re donating a kitchen restock kit for an inTouch mother. They care that the food & produce they’re consuming is the same quality being distributed to women experiencing family violence. We’re incredibly privileged and grateful to be in a position to help facilitate this important food relief for inTouch.”

Peek inside the pack

St David dairy, Burd eggs and Mount Zero olive oil, are just some of the delicious items included in each emergency food relief pack.

Click here to purchase a pack today or make a tax deductible donation to the inSpire initiative before 30 June. Every dollar you give helps more women and their children access critical support.

Thank you for being a big believer in our work and a champion for the communities we support. Want to learn more about the challenges faced by women on temporary visas experiencing family violence? Read our recent Position Paper on this issue, or our COVID-19 Issues Paper to find out how the pandemic is impacting our clients.

*Names have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.

Would you like to speak to someone after reading this story?
Please call Lifeline on 13 11 14
In case of an emergency, please call Police on 000.

Are you or someone you know experiencing family violence? Call;
– Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre 1800 015 188 (24 hours)
– Sexual Assault Crisis Line 1800 806 292 (24 hours)
– inTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence 1800 755 988 (9am – 5pm Mon to Fri)