The changing face of those in need

Over the past two years, we’ve seen a shift in the types of people visiting our cafe. It’s a reminder that need is ongoing and in these difficult times, almost anyone can fall into disadvantage. Here’s what we’ve noticed about the changing face of those in need.

Increased need at the Early Bird Cafe

We served a lot more brekky throughout the pandemic with an increase from 80 to 100+ meals depending on the day. Another thing we noticed was the variety of people who were coming to us for support.

“There are more [disadvantaged] homeless and hungry people needing breakfast each morning. We see international students, family groups including children, couples and singles who are [disadvantaged] or cannot afford to provide food. There has been an increase in the number of middle aged females who are coming in each morning, looking very lost [and in need of support.]”

Marilyn Smith – Early Bird Volunteer

In a typical year, we’ll serve 23,000+ hot meals and easily double this in coffees and teas. Our customers can also take home frozen meals and snacks so that their good start extends throughout the day. We provide donated books, toiletries, clothing and blankets – anything we can to help make life a bit easier.

Disadvantage in NSW: by the numbers

We’re proud of the impact we make each morning for the disadvantaged in Sydney’s CBD. But, we know the need is ongoing. We also know it extends beyond our community. Here are some recent stats* on disadvantaged in NSW:

  • 70,600 people sought homelessness support in 2020/21
  • 40% of those people were fleeing domestic violence
  • 19% were unaccompanied young people, aged 15-24
  • 31% were Aboriginal

*Data through Homelessness NSW

These are impactful figures and we know we can only do so much. But, we remain committed to making a difference for all who visit our cafe. No matter who arrives on our doorstep, our volunteers welcome them with open arms.

Small things make a big difference

Supporting the disadvantaged in Sydney’s CBD can be as small or as big as you choose with Early Bird Cafe. It’s as simple as helping to prepare a hot meal and having a friendly chat. Or as easy as donating old blankets for the winter. Many of our volunteers tell us how rewarding it is to spend a morning helping others in need. Check out our website for more information on how you can donate your time, donate practical goods or buy someone brekky. 

A huge shout out of thanks to our current and past volunteers who have donated their time and energy, as well as the corporate supporters and individuals who donate funds to keep the Early Bird Cafe running.