Donating food or money – which is better?

At Samaritans we are constantly overwhelmed by the generosity of the community around us.

As one of the largest regional welfare organisations in Australia, we receive a lot of calls for help and on the flip side we receive a lot of good will to help us address this need in the community.

Samaritans runs numerous Emergency Relief Centres; these are often the first port of call for families and individuals doing it tough.

Not only do we offer food from these centres, but we can assist with utility bills, vouchers for our clothing shops and referral to support services to help upskill and empower people out of their tough situation.

We know that many people in the community want to help those in their area doing it tough and we commonly get asked – what’s the difference between donating money vs food?

Food donations fix an immediate need

Access to food and safe drinking water is a human right. Luckily in Australia it is much easier to access free, clean drinking water as compared to many developing countries around the world.

Accessing food isn’t so ‘free’.

Donating food to organisations like Samaritans allows us to fix an immediate need for those who are going through a really rough patch.

Immediate needs must be met. Without food we can’t function (remember the last time you were hungry – it was hard to think straight, right?). If we can meet a person’s immediate needs and then work with them on the deeper issues that are causing their disadvantage. This is where the money comes in…

Money donations enable long-term solutions

Samaritans programs are holistic; that is, we aim to help the many needs a person is experiencing to give them long term alleviation from disadvantage.

By donating money to an organisation like Samaritans, we can ensure that our key services are kept running to their fullest capacity, reaching as many people in need as possible.

Cash donations also allow us to direct the money to where it’s needed most at the time – this may be to house a young person facing homelessness, or to rehabilitate someone exiting prison so they become participating members of the community, or it could be directed into supporting and empowering a person living with a disability to live their fullest life.

The take home message is this: they’re both important. It all comes down to your capacity for giving at this moment in time. And your generosity – whether it be goods, time or money – is so very much appreciated!

Samaritans Emergency Relief centres are always in need of donations of non-perishable foods. See here for locations and donation ideas.
If you are able, your monetary donation will keep Samaritans programs running which offer long-term solutions for locals facing disadvantage and poverty. You can donate here.