HAWKESBURY residents doing it tough can now purchase low-cost food on Thursdays and Fridays from a not-for-profit organisation behind Hawkesbury Church in Windsor.
Hawkesbury Community FoodCare has been helping locals make ends meet for around three years now, but while the service used to be open only on Thursdays, the team is now opening on Fridays too, in order to meet growing demand.
Head volunteer, Zoe Mullen, said over 800 people have signed-up. In September 2016 when the Gazette last spoke to Ms Mullen, she had 520 members.
“We have grown so much. We probably do an average of 60 families per week, and if you average that out with four of five in a family, that’s quite a lot of people [we’re helping],” she said.
Hawkesbury Community FoodCare provides a variety of groceries to low-income families and individuals at a fraction of the price paid at the supermarket.
Customers pay yearly a registration fee of $2, and show their concession card when joining. They put together their own hampers of goods, and a minimum of $8 must be spent per shop. Bread, fruit and vegetables are free.
The organisation sources its groceries from Food Bank in Wetherill Park, Sciberras Fresh in Freemans Reach, and a butcher in Penrith.
“We have staples including bread, milk, cereals, pastas, sauces, jams, vegemite, tinned tomatoes, baked beans, salad dressing and gravy. We have quite a big range,” Ms Mullen said.
“Our fridge stuff varies, but we generally have the staples like chicken drumsticks, meatballs, mince, rissoles and meat pies, and I got fish in for Good Friday. It varies every week, but we’re getting better and better sourcing our stuff.”
A Centrelink benefit card must be shown to sign-up, and they accept a variety of concessions including Age Pension, Newsstart and Low Income Health Care Card.
“We have a lovely new outdoor area. A lot of people stay and have a coffee and that’s their social occasion for the week,” said Ms Mullen.
Hawkesbury Community FoodCare is open on Thursdays and Fridays from 10am until 1pm. They also provide free morning tea on those days.
It is located at 43 Brabyn Street, Windsor (behind the church). You can also find them on Facebook.