The most frequently asked question to our project is: “Where do your food boxes go?”
What underlies this question is a genuine curiosity around poverty and disadvantage in Perth.
In February we were lucky enough to host Tori Cooke, Manager of Family and Justice Services from our partner agency, Ruah. Tori got insight into what we do and was able to shed some light on how our food boxes are used.
Ruah works with a range of clients. Specifically, they help women into refuges after experiencing family and domestic violence; women newly released from prison; the homeless and people dealing with a range of mental health problems.
We have been providing Ruah with food boxes since 2015.
The Ruah Centre in Northbridge sees roughly 125 people per day, coming in for a range of different services. Clients come in to access food, computers (and Centrelink), showers, clean clothing as well as advocacy and support.
“During the Christmas period, the Ruah Centre can see 300-500 people accessing their services per day.”
~ Tori Cooke, Manager Family and Justice Services
Women experiencing family and domestic violence make up a large part of Ruah’s clientele. Tori explained that 40% of women from domestic violence backgrounds experience homelessness.
1 in 3 women experience family violence and 1 in 5 experience sexual assault.
Tori spoke to us about the ripple effect of this abuse and the damage that is inflicted on the entire family by quoting this statistic:
1 in 2 children that witness family violence become traumatised and incredibly vulnerable as a result.
Tori also addressed the issue of people perpetrating the abuse.
“Men who are using abuse need support and help,” Tori told us, “as they have their own vulnerabilities. Ruah provides support and an invitation to change because we need to deal with the source of the problem.”
Meeting and speaking with Tori provided tremendous insight into the branches of this project and how it assists the community in collaboration with Ruah.
Check out the full interview below!