Scott Morrison has reversed cuts to Foodbank.
Scott Morrison has reversed cuts to Foodbank.

PM reverses Foodbank funding cut

SCOTT Morrison has abruptly reversed funding cuts to the food charity Foodbank after a swift backlash from the public yesterday.

The charity, which feeds 710,000 people a month, would have been forced to curtail its services due to a redistribution of the government's relief budget, which split money between Foodbank, Second Bite and Ozharvest.

It amounted to a funding cut of more than $250,000 for Foodbank, slicing its share from $750,000 a year to $427,000.

"I have listened and decided to increase the Food Relief budget by $1.5 million over the next 4.5 years," the Prime Minister announced this morning.

"This maintains Foodbank's funding at $750,000 per year, with Second Bite and OzHarvest funded as announced."

Yesterday Foodbank warned its Key Staples program, which makes sure essential supplies like rice, bread and vegetables get to needy people, was at risk.

The program sees food manufacturers produce food using spare production capacity, while suppliers donate or subsidise ingredients, packaging and delivery.

"We are dumbfounded," Foodbank chief executive Brianna Casey said.

The government's total funding for food relief was to remain the same, but be split between three providers rather than two from next year.

Yesterday Social Services Minister Paul Fletcher urgently asked his department for advice on why Foodbank was only notified of the funding change just weeks before the demanding Christmas season.

He also sought advice on options to provide additional funding to Foodbank to "assist in managing the transition to the new arrangements".

- with AAP


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