Sam and his mum Laura fled from an abusive home. After losing her job and struggling to find a new one, Laura found it harder and harder to make ends meet. After covering her rent and bills, Laura had as little as $30 a week left over to feed herself and Sam.


As many Australians begin their preparations for Christmas, parents like Laura are staring at a pile of unpaid bills, wondering how on earth they’re going to feed their children.


Launching the 2019 Vinnies Christmas Appeal, President of the St Vincent de Paul Society Canberra/Goulburn, John Feint, explains that for far too many Australians, Christmas is not a time of joy and celebration.

“People living in poverty are going without food so their children can eat, but 1 in 5 children nationally has gone hungry this past year. Across Australia, nearly half of the assistance Vinnies provides is in the form of food,” said Mr Feint.


“As well as the physical health impacts of food insecurity brings, because food plays such an important role in our social lives, the experience of food insecurity can be incredibly isolating. A family that cannot afford to eat, may be too ashamed go invite the neighbours in for tea, or ask friends around to play.


“Rather than being an occasion to look forward to, important events such as Christmas – for so many of us, a time of indulgence – can serve to exacerbate the stress of not being able to make ends meet.

“Through our visits to families in need, we provide, not just food and toys, but also company and companionship,” said Mr Feint


Last Christmas, Vinnies Canberra/Goulburn provided over $685,000 worth of assistance to more than 3,000 households in need in the region. This included nearly 3000 Christmas hampers.

“As Christmas approaches, calls for help to the Society are expected to increase, and this year we anticipate providing as much, if not more, assistance to people in the region,” said Mr Feint.

“Vinnies will provide people in the Canberra/Goulburn region with financial assistance, clothing, food hampers, as well as gifts for parents and children.


“When you are struggling to put food on the table, finding money for gifts is nearly impossible. The Vinnies Christmas Appeal allows us to assist with rent and utilities, but we also seek donations of gifts that can help bring joy to people at Christmas,” he said.


People can donate to the 2019 Vinnies Christmas Appeal by visiting any Vinnies shop, calling 13 18 12 or via

To donate a gift online please visit


25 November 2019