Food & Other Emergency Relief, 1 April 2020

1 April 2020

Canberra Relief Network – CRN

Canberra Relief Network – CRN

Ph: 1800 431 133 or 02 5104 9599

The Canberra Relief Network or CRN is the ACT Government’s response to the sudden and overwhelming demand for food and non-perishable household essentials item that is occurring and is expected to increase as a direct result of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The economic crisis precipitated by the COVID-19 Pandemic means that many people, including those who have never interacted with the social welfare system, will find themselves in need.

UnitingCare Kippax has been selected by the ACT Government to lead the Canberra Relief Network.

UnitingCare Kippax has assembled a taskforce of experienced operational and logistics experts to supplement its staff, including OzHarvest. It will work collaboratively with a network of agencies with specific capability in food relief throughout the Territory to ensure that any help for any Canberrans who needs it.

Canberra Relief Network Operations

CRN provides two essential backbone capabilities required during this period:

  • Contact Centre: will provide a central point of contact for individuals who are not currently known to a community food relief service. The call centre will assist individuals in locating services that are closest to them and ensuring they receive enough for their immediate needs.

  • Food Relief Operations Centre: will receive, store, process and manage vast amounts of dry and cold grocery items and household essentials in a safe and hygienic way. CRN is not only relying on donations.

    It has been resourced by the ACT Government and is working closely with a range of wholesale suppliers to ensure that there is a share available to those who do not have the means to purchase it themselves.

Canberra Relief Network Eligibility

The aim of CRN is to support individuals who are not able to purchase items in the supermarket due to vulnerability. While many members of the community may feel insecure during this time, it is essential to restrict eligibility to this service to those who absolutely have no other choice. This includes:

  • Pre-existing clients of food pantries
  • Current clients of community services organisations
  • Community members that are identified as vulnerable through government support
  • People escaping family violence
  • Refugees and migrants
  • Those directly affected by the pandemic: casual employees experiencing hardship, those in the gig economy and those that are isolated or incapacitated due to illness and require direct assistance.

Please direct eligible clients to contact the call centre on 1800 431 133 or 02 5104 9599.

Open Monday to Friday, 10am to 2.30pm.


Other Food & Emergency Relief

  • Free Meal & Emergency Relief Services (pdf): Comprehensive list of local services, updated weekly by VolunteeringACT
  • Australia Post Pharmacy Home Delivery Service: supports vulnerable members of the community and those in self-isolation, so they can have ongoing access to essential medications. Pharmacies can offer free delivery on prescriptions to their customers so speak to your pharmacy to see if you or a family member qualifies for this service.
  • Woolworths Basics Box: provides essential products to customers who are currently unable to visit Woolworths stores – the elderly, people with a disability, those with compromised immunity and people in mandatory isolation. $80 inc. delivery.

< Past ACTCOSS COVID-19 Updates

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