Community Pantry Feeding Locals

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Pantry Volunteers

The Community Pantry are helping with the rising cost of living by providing food hampers to locals.

Each hamper is available to any member of the community at the cost of $10. They contain a range of pantry items and chef prepared frozen meals.

A majority of the pantry items come from the Brisbane Food Bank and are topped up by the generous donations of Woolworths and IGA.

The delicious and convenient frozen meals are supplied by Fareshare. Fareshare is the country’s largest charity kitchen, cooking up surplus food into free nutritious meals for people in need.

After 17 years in Melbourne, Fareshare opened its second kitchen in Brisbane in 2018.

All Fareshare meals are designed to be easily reheated making them ideal for vulnerable people struggling to put food on the table. Fareshare accesses surplus meat and vegetables to supply the kitchen where it will be turned into chef inspired nutritious meals.

The collaboration between, FoodBank, Fareshare and Community Pantry’s help, tackle both food insecurity and Australia’s $20 billion food waste problem head on.

Cooloola Cove Community Pantry co ordinator Belinda Edwards says, “We hope to make a difference not only to help ease the food bills of our locals but also to help the impact of food waste on the environment”.

Belinda went on to say, “If anyone would like a hamper but can’t get to one of our locations please contact us and one of our volunteers will be happy to deliver it to you”. If you are unwell, have just been discharged from hospital or have trouble getting transport, give the Community Pantry organisers a call.

All the locals who were picking up their hampers on the day the Bay Bulletin visited agreed the service definitely benefited their budget and represented a wonderful cost saving for them and their family as well as helping to keep excess food out of landfill.

The Community Pantry is open each fortnight at two locations Rainbow Beach and Cooloola Cove. The next collection day for Cooloola Cove will be Thursday 1st March 2024 at the Cooloola Veterans Hall in Cooloola Cove.

For more information, or if you would like to volunteer, contact Belinda on 0487 920 925. Currently the Community Pantry are desperately seeking donations of bags to pack hampers. If you have any spare please drop them at one of the collection centres during hours of operation.

Jenni Jackson

Belinda Edwards shows the delicious frozen meals provided by Fareshare.