Wesley Mission Queensland (WMQ) launched its annual Red Bag Appeal on Monday, 30 October, to distribute more than 3,000 Red Bags for food relief leading up to Christmas as demands for emergency relief soar with the cost-of-living crisis.

Through the help of the Queensland community, the Appeal aims to raise up to $80,000 for Emergency Relief to meet the increasing demands for its services.

More than 3.7 million Australian households are experiencing food insecurity, and more than 60 per cent of households are reliant on Jobseeker payments. Wesley Mission Queensland (WMQ) will distribute more than 3,000 Red Bags for food relief leading to Christmas.

WMQ Manager Access and Inclusion Pauline Coffey said sadly, one in eight people, including one in six children, now live in poverty.

“Cost of living pressure has hit an all-time high and Queensland families are feeling the crunch, particularly over the holiday season,” she said.

“The pressure is so much that it has even spread to families with full time employment. Regular everyday families are increasingly needing our support — and our Red Bag Appeal will help relieve some of the burden over the Christmas period,” she said.

Wesley Mission Queensland spokesperson said the community has always been vital to supporting those in need, and initiatives such as the Red Bag Appeal give these issues much-needed exposure so that all areas of society take note.

“The increasing number of families needing support means Wesley Mission Queensland’s volunteer workforce has been stretched thin, so this year more help than ever is needed to meet these demands.”

“We welcome any opportunity to work with government to address the structural issues that lead to housing and cost of living pressures.”

Veteran Brisbane Relief Hub volunteer Denise, who has worked in the Red Bag Appeal for more than 10 years, is eager to spread the joy this Christmas once again.

“It’s just such a happy time of year, and the joy spreads beyond just Christmas day,” Denise said.

The Red Bag Appeal runs until Friday, 24 November.

You can volunteer or donate – find out how you can help HERE.