Sharing the love locally, Dhungung Food Share is gearing up to meet increased demand for support to stock the pantries of local families. It’s hoped that a grant secured through Council’s Community Assistance Scheme will enable organisers to stretch available grocery supplies to provide people with what they need over Winter.
A collaborative effort, with Wingecarribee Shire Council coming alongside Red Cross and Oz Harvest, Dhungung Food Share at Mittagong provides our Shire’s Aboriginal families with dependable access to nutritious food. Dropping in to collect a hamper can also be a welcome opportunity for a yarn, for some.
“We’re gearing up for a busier time over Winter, when the cold sets in and we see more family members coming down with cold or flu,” says program coordinator Diane Bernadi. “When someone is unwell, it’s helpful for them to have easy meals at hand.”
With this grant funding, Dhungung Food Share hope to build a well stocked pantry of food staples and top it up on a regular basis over the Winter, so that essential items are always ready at hand when people need them.
”The donations we receive on a weekly basis from Oz Harvest are fantastic and Council has always supported us, week by week, purchasing additional food to meet growing demand among local First Nations families in need,” Diane says. “In preparation for Winter, we put it out there to local families to tell us what sort of food they use most so that we understand their needs, and based on their feedback we assembled a substantial list of the most sought-after grocery items, from frozen veggies and meats to rice you can microwave, tea, coffee and honey,”
For many vulnerable community members, collecting a hamper from the share pantry is also a way of staying connected. “Knowing they can come to us for food, and a chat, brings comfort and assurance,” Diane says. “We’re grateful to have this boost to what we do for our community, through the Community Assistance Scheme, at a time when demand is bound to spike,” Diane says.
A team of volunteers donate their time to packing the hampers and Council volunteers are on hand to assist with the distribution process.
It’s all about sharing resources for the wellbeing of the Wingecarribee community, through a combination of food rescue, grant funding and dedicated local volunteers.
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