THE NORTH LAKES FOOD PROGRAM
The North Lakes Food Program is run in partnership with Our Community Place Inc. (Neighbourhood Centre at Boolaroo) Uniting Church at Boolaroo and The Willows at Warners Bay, also Samaritans at Teralba.
The Program was a joint proposal by Manager-Welfare Officer (Valda Barton) of Neighbour Centre and Rev.Chris Budden and was put into practice in October 2012
The venue is the Boolaroo Church Hall and the supplier of Food is Oz Harvest Newcastle. From time to time vegetables grown by the Neighbourhood Centre's community garden are included in the food parcels. Donations of non-perishable food from Church members are always welcome and are used either for late comers when all perishables have been distributed or in Christmas Hampers which are given each year.
The recipients for the program are first screened through Samaritans at Teralba, St.Vincent De Paul Society Boolaroo and Boolaroo Neighbourhood Centre only and their privacy remains with these organisations. They are families and individuals who are disadvantaged or homeless members of the local community.
The program is staffed by one paid member from Neighbourhood Centre and one volunteer together with myself, husband Philip and three or four further volunteers from Boolaroo Church. The Hall is set up with four trestles for receiving and packaging food and a further four that are colour coded for the recipients. Recipients are requested to be at the Hall by 12.30pm where by then we have had time to unload the food truck, repack chickens, vegetables, cooked food, bread and/or whatever we have been given.
When they arrive to register they are divided into four groups which are singles, couples, family with three children and families with four or more children and are given a card to attach to their shopping bag which is colour coded and states their registered number.
In the time since the program began we have had 171 participants and given out 802 free food parcels.
Mary Drewett: Volunteer Co-coordinator for Boolaroo Church