Kids and families in need shouldn't starve. Help Puddle Jumpers help them.

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Kids and families torn apart due to violence or abuse desperately need food and care right now. My charity helps these kids, but we’ve been told we’re not an essential service.

In 2012, I set up Puddle Jumpers as a charity to ensure our society’s most vulnerable children receive the basic necessities all of us deserve. At the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, we dramatically altered our services to respond to the needs of society - we began providing food to the most vulnerable communities. I’m calling on the South Australian government to recognise the crucial role we are playing in supporting the community at this time and declare us as “essential services.”

Our team has been working non-stop, seven days a week to put food on the table of the most cut-off families, connecting with them in a way no other agency can. If we are not allowed to operate, thousands of children will go hungry. Since a month, we have been overwhelmed with pleas for help.

The pleas for help have come not just from struggling families, but also government schools and the Department of Child Protection. For many families we are the place they will come to seek help which might be the breaking point that becomes a turning point, we help keep families together. 

I’m at a loss as to why we aren’t recognised as an essential service even though we are getting calls from social workers and agencies around the state to protect vulnerable families and children. We haven’t received any support through the JobKeeper legislation or the front-line assistance packages that were announced. I’m afraid we won’t be able to go on much longer without any support.

Our costs of operating have risen dramatically. Despite ceasing honorary payments to the volunteers and myself, it is becoming unaffordable to continue providing our services. This is why I’m calling on the South Australian government to recognise the essential community service we are providing through our food relief program. Please sign and share my petition to pressure the government to declare our service as essential and give us the funding we need.

Melanie Tate

08 7071 5270 or 0400 999 349

mtate@puddlejumpers.org.au

Facebook @puddlejumpersSA

Website: http://www.puddlejumpers.org.au