Thursday, April 25, 2024

Aussies struggle to pay for the essentials

More than one in four surveyed Australians (27%) are doing it tougher now than ever before and are struggling to pay for the essentials.

According to the research conducted by charity Good360 Australia, nearly one in six respondents say they are using credit cards to get by (15%) and nearly one in ten (8.5%) have either sought help from a charity or are considering seeking charity support due to the cost-of-living crisis.

The research also highlights that many Australians believe governments and businesses should be doing more to help address the cost-of-living crisis. Nearly half of the respondents (46%) say governments could be doing more to ease the impact on people and communities, while a third (32%) feel that businesses could be doing more.

Demand for aid at record levels

The research comes as community demand for non-food aid has reached record levels. Good360, which redirects new, unsold essential goods such as clothes and furniture to people in need, has seen a 400% increase in charities seeking support compared to the same time last year and has already distributed over $5 million worth of household items in 2024.

Good360 Australia founder and Managing Director Alison Covington AM says it’s important to remember the community needs more than just food, and that the urgent situation calls for collaborative action between governments, retailers and charities to help those Australians in need.

“The cost-of-living crisis is placing increasing pressure on people already struggling, with more and more people finding it hard to get by and turning to charities for support,” she says.

“Meanwhile, we know that a staggering $2.5 billion of unsold household goods such as clothes, furniture and personal hygiene goods are unnecessarily going to waste each year. These are essential, everyday items needed for a dignified life.”

Good360 a solution, but more support needed

Ms Covington says Good360 Australia provides a smart, simple solution to the issue of waste.

“We work with retailers to connect their unsold goods to thousands of charities and disadvantaged schools across the country. This helps millions of Aussies in need while also redirecting thousands of tonnes of goods that may otherwise go to waste or landfill,” she says.

“However, there’s much more that needs to be done and while governments fund the delivery of surplus food to Australians doing it tough, there are millions of Australians who cannot afford essential household items and need support to get through each day.

“We know that waste in the retail sector is an issue keeping many executives up at night. With sales continuing to flatline and seasonal stock changes about to hit as summer ends, many retailers are faced with the challenge of sustainably managing mountains of unsold stock.

“Governments, retailers and charities need to work together and get smart about these challenges. Instead of letting mountains of essential household goods go to waste, let’s get them to Australians who really need them.”

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