A new way of raising cash has come to Canberra. Charity collectors are rattling plastic money boxes at big intersections in the city when cars stop at red lights.
The collectors are employed by a not-for-profit enterprise called UrCommunity which aims to provide cheap food for people who might not otherwise be able to eat. The organisation also raises money for other causes.
The volunteers who work the traffic get to keep 40 per cent of what they collect - they're paid by result, according to how much money they raise.
Some volunteers depend on this money because they are in serious need themselves. The organisers say that some are migrants to Australia who can't apply for social security until they have been in the country for 24 months.
Each collecting team at an intersection has a supervisor. Some of the volunteers are disabled but the organisers say there is training. According to one of the founders of the charity, Peter Malliaros, they have never had an incident where a volunteer and a car clashed.
Mr Malliaros's wife, Paula Hall, who is also a co-founder, said that more volunteers were needed in Canberra. "We really need people who want to work around the intersections," she said.
The enterprise started in Melbourne but has now expanded to Canberra because "we thought we might as well try the capital of Australia", Ms Hall said.
In some countries where efforts are made to raise money from drivers in stopped cars, there's occasionally been angry, bad feeling, particularly if a person is begging on his or her own behalf rather than (as with the current scheme) raising money on behalf of the poor.
Ms Hall said they hadn't experienced much anger in Canberra. She thought Canberrans were more generous than Melburnians.
The organisers have learnt about the patterns of generosity and miserliness: in Melbourne, it's harder to get people in rich areas to donate than it is in poorer outer suburbs.
Mr Malliaros thinks that poorer people may have more sympathy with those in need because they may have been there themsleves. "If someone has experienced disadvantage, they are more likely to feel empathy," he said.
It's too soon to draw conclusions about Canberra's pattern of generosity between haves and have-nots.
In the ACT, though, the organisers have noticed that people are more generous on the way home from work than they are on the way in.
They detect reluctance to give in the morning among the traffic disruptions on Northbourne Avenue when grouchiness is high and generosity lower.
But generally, the impression is favourable. "Canberra drivers have been amazing," she said.
Some people had put in $50. In six hours of road-side fund-raising in Braddon, they got $1,800.
Mr Malliaros said he and his wife set up the enterprise after he worked at a Medicare Local where he saw the need for food among a sometimes barely-noticed group of people who were poor in the midst of plenty.
In Melbourne, they offer cheap food at libraries and they are now looking for similar sites in the ACT, ideally for no or low rent. Food offered isn't free but it is cheap in an effort to give everyone a chance of a full stomach.
Different deals are offered from $3 upwards.
The charity's social media pitch says, "When life throws you a lemon you can still eat low-cost chef-meals at the Library brought to you by UrCommunity’s - Feeding Australia program!"
In Melbourne, the charity provides around 900 meals a day. It used to cook meals itself but now contracts out.
She said some Canberrans are in serious need of food. "This is a wealthy area but there are people who struggle in silence. They will go without food rather than ask for help," she said.