Vinnies is getting a helping hand from IGA this Christmas. The supermarket chain is encouraging shoppers to purchase a Christmas bauble with proceeds going to Vinnies Drought Appeal and Drought Angels.

“Christmas is a tough time for many of the people we assist, with the pressure to buy special foods and presents adding to the ever-present stress of not being able to afford food or rent. However, for those people affected by drought, this will be an especially tough Christmas,” said John Feint, President of the St Vincent de Paul Society Canberra/Goulburn.

“The ones who are finding it very hard are the shearers and shed staff. They are usually younger people with young families. So, with no work due to the lack of sheep (because of destocking), these people survive on Centrelink payments because they are like any other young family. They have bills, mortgages and family loans etc. So, there is not much left when you need to travel for everything in the bush – from medical to groceries, school to sport for the children,” he said.

“Our members are busy packing hampers full of festive foods and gifts to take to the families we work with, and our regional areas are seeing a large number of people that need some extra help,” said Mr Feint.

“We actively seek donations of non-perishable food and gifts for children at this time of year to help provide some festive cheer for people who may have had a tough year trying to deal with the effects of drought,” he said.

Since August last year, Vinnies has been running a Drought Appeal, raising money to assist people with essentials.

The Federal Government has also contributed funds through the Drought Community Support Initiative, which has allowed Vinnies to distribute greater sums of money to help people with some of the larger bills such as vet and mechanic bills.

People can support the Drought Appeal by buying a bauble from IGA, or donating online at

To donate to the 2019 Vinnies Christmas Appeal visit any Vinnies shop, call 13 18 12 or visit

To donate a Christmas gift online please visit

4 December 2019