10 Aug How to help stock the pantries of others Inner West Style and the local heroes doing it
If you’re feeling the lock down blues, we are totally with you. This lock down has been extra long and it’s feeling extra hard. I’m sure you’re like us, tuning into the daily 11am announcement hoping with every inch of our being that we’re turning the corner.
Whilst we’re finding it challenging, we’re cognisant that the impacts of Covid and lockdown restrictions are absolutely dire for some. We’re also constantly inspired by the locals who make it their purpose to step up and support them.
So, whilst our last article was all about stocking up your own kitchen, this one is about stocking up the kitchen of others. It’s a shout out to some of the most dedicated people and organisations in our community looking out for our most vulnerable community members, and flagging some places where if you’re in a position to, you too can give back to our beautiful community.
Addison Road Community Centre. Did you know Addi Road rescues over 5000 tonnes of food and feeds over 8,000 people each week? In March 2020, when the first lockdown occurred, Addi Road established a Food Relief Hub in addition to their regular Food Pantry.
This lockdown they’ve seen a sharp rise in people reaching out for help and currently have over 30 shifts a day and around 260 volunteers a week packing hundreds of food hampers a day.
This week Addi Road put a call for help out to the community for urgent help with their stock levels as they are currently down to only one week’s worth.
There are several ways you can support Addi Road and their Food Relief Hub including volunteering and donating food or funds. See how by clicking here.
Donating to Sydney Food Share. Meet Freny, long time Stanmore local, piano teacher and the Inner Westie behind Sydney Food Share Operation.
In March 2017 Freny and a few of her close friends decided to harness the power of social media and started Sydney Food Share to draw attention to the crippling effect of food insecurity in our communities. Her aim was to put food on the table for anyone in genuine need, no judgement, red tape or fees.
Sydney Food Share is run through Facebook as Freny believes it is a simple way of being able to get help to people who are struggling and cannot negotiate the system for a myriad of reasons. They simply message her via the page and she organises a food hamper that suits their specific family and dietary needs.
You can support Sydney Food Share by donating basic pantry supplies, fresh produce and newly purchased blankets, beanies and socks. Freny also often needs assistance getting food hampers to our less mobile community members.
Donations can be dropped off to Freny in Stanmore. Contact Sydney Food Share via Facebook for all of the details.
Street Food pantries all around the Inner West. Inspired by The Newtown Blessing Box, there are now several food pantries dotted throughout many Inner West suburbs from Marrickville to Tempe. Street Food Pantries use a simple ethos of “give what you can and take what you need” and are an easy and accessible way to spread a little kindness in the community.
Petersham Pantry: Terminus Street, Petersham, at the end of the tunnel.
The Ville Street Food Pantry: Corner of Illawarra and Marrickville Road, Marrickville
The 2044 Food Pantry: Under the freight train bridge Unwins Bridge Road, Tempe
Newtown Neighbourhood Centre. I’m sure you’ll all agree, the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre is crucial to the very fabric of our Inner West community, providing support services to various local disadvantaged groups.
They may have temporarily closed their front doors during the lockdown but the team is still working hard to support vulnerable members of our community via the phone and with outreach support.
Community support is even more crucial to their success with the growing demand for outreach services and increased homelessness due to Covid.
If you would like to support the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre click here to find out how.
The centre has also placed their food pantry and useful information sheets at the doors of the building at 1 Bedford Street, Newtown, which you can drop non-perishable goods and sanitary supplies into.
We hope you and your family are managing with lock down ok. If you’re feeling vulnerable with food or accommodation please do reach out to the services above.
A huge thank you to these inspiring members of our community, most aren’t new, they’ve been doing this for years, but right now they’re in more demand than ever.
We know we aren’t alone with this thought as we’ve been seeing the altruistic nature of our Inner West community rise up around us.
Annika and Blake