Accessibility Tools

An image of a paper bag with vegetables. A concept photo of a food hamper.

If you have trouble affording food and necessities, help is available. Not working? Working reduced hours? Lost your job? In lockdown? You are not alone. If you need an emergency meal, food relief, or ongoing support, we can help you access support.

How can I find a food relief service near me?

There are both large and small organisations that can help you meet basic food needs in times of crisis. Some operate on a voucher system, others have food parcels, grow and share communities (who offer free food) community pantries or soup kitchens. Depending on the service, you may need to apply in advance, and some you can turn up locally at nominated times – it depends on the provider.

Services with National Coverage

We list below some of the main service organisations across a broad range of Australia. Your local council may also have some further information on what help is available. Find your Council.

Other supports could be through places like

  • City Missions
  • Neighbourhood Centres
  • Welfare officers at your Education Provider
  • Religious Organisations
  • Indigenous Support Organisations
  • Local charities

Department of Social Services.
An online National Service Directory. You can search by postcode. Look under “Financial Crisis and Material Aid- Food relief”. It comes under the Families and Communities Programme.

The Salvation Army
For residents in the ACT, NSW and QLD Call the Assessment Line 1300 371 288. It operates from 9: 00 am – 5:00 pm Monday – Friday. They will assess your circumstances with regards to your needs and available resources.  For NT, SA, Tas, VIC and WA call or visit your nearest Salvos. To search by postcode Salvos near you.

Food bank
Pantry to the charities. State Capitals and the NT. Some regional centres. 02 9887 4144

St Vincent De Paul
Programs and services. 13 18 12 and they will direct your call to the closest help.

Ask Izzy 
Website lists places. Enter your postcode, town or suburb to search online.  For food look at the 2 columns ‘Everyday Things’ & ‘Food’

OZ Harvest
A food rescue organisation. They collect quality excess food from commercial outlets and deliver it to more than 1300 charities. Major centres in Sydney, Newcastle, Adelaide and Brisbane.

Lists of Food rescue charities. VIC, NSW, QLD, TAS and NT

Second Bite
A Food rescue organisation. Second bite redistributes surplus food to charities and non-profits around Australia. VIC, NSW, TAS, QLD and NT, with Community Connect available nationally.

Australian Red Cross
Relief support for people on Temporary Visas. The application processing time at the time of publication of this article is 6 weeks.

Insider Guides
Have an online list of places to find food when you cannot afford groceries.  

Services in NSW

St Vincent de Paul
Family Assistance Line 1800 606 724.

(Sydney and Illawarra) Food parcels are available at their Food and Financial Assistance offices. Regional areas may have combined services with other charities.

Leave your name, contact number and suburb to have someone call you.

Services in the ACT

Food Assistance in the ACT

You can contact Volunteering ACT on 1800 43 11 33 between 9 am and 5 pm daily. Callers will be linked with a staff member from Volunteering ACT who will place a shopping order on their behalf. Members of the ACT Emergency Services Agency (ACTESA) will then collect their order and deliver it to them. The items on the list are the same as were in the food hampers supplied by the Canberra Relief Network (CRN) last year. Fresh produce is not available at this stage. You can only order items on the list. There is a limited supply available of some items.


Services in VIC

A list of places in Northern and Western areas of Melbourne. 

Distributes meals to frontline charities.

Services in WA

A connection service where you can search for food relief and other services.

Services in SA

Grow Free
A community that grow or prepare food to share, without expecting anything in return. You can search by map or list, the locations of Grow Free sharing Cart locations. Most Community Carts are in SA, but other states are joining this trend.

Elderly people and international students that are self-isolating, or face financial hardship can request hot meals or much-needed grocery supplies through Khalsa Aid. Text message 0424 411 427.

The Red Cross is also supplying food packages to people stuck in long testing queues.

Foodbank SA 

Services in TAS

Emergency Relief Support
Government Information on where to find help for several services across Tasmania.

You can also call the Tasmanian Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 and a staff member will help direct you to the services you need.

Services in the NT

Baptist Care - Food For Life

A not-for-profit program offering low-cost groceries to individuals and families. Partner with local churches in Darwin to provide services. Howard Springs, Humpty Doo, Palmerston, Casuarina, Darwin and Batchelor.

Need a service near you?

COVID-19 Disability Information Helpline – 1800 643 787

This helpline has been set up to help people with a disability with COVID-19 issues.
It is open Monday to Friday from 8 am to 8 pm.

More here Disability Information Helpline

Return to Money Matters

IDEAS does information so you can do life.