The Victorian Government will contribute $180,000 over the next three years to ensure more children in need receive an Alannah & Madeline Foundation Buddy Bag containing essentials.

Since 2007, the Foundation has provided more than 67,000 Buddy Bags to children who have been placed in emergency accommodation across the country, including almost 17,000 in Victoria. The program was developed in response to increasing requests from community agencies who provide emergency care to children.

Almost 60,000 Australian children will be in emergency accommodation this year. This can be one of the most traumatic experiences in a child’s life with many left with only the clothes on their back. The bags include items such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, pyjamas, socks, underwear, pillowcase, facewasher, a book, photo frame and a teddy bear and are broken down by age groups. They provide practical items while helping to restore a sense of safety and security.

Alannah & Madeline Foundation CEO Lesley Podesta said the $180,000 would help provide all Victorian children in need with a Buddy Bag. In order to reach more children across the country, Ms Podesta called on all state and territory governments to match The Victorian contribution.

Announcing the contribution, Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos said: “Every day, we get postcards from children who receive the Buddy Bags, we know how much it means to them.”