The Bay Food Pantry, operated by The Bay Community Church, is committed to fighting against poverty in the community by distributing food to families and individuals who are struggling to put food on their tables.
Approximately 25 volunteers distribute food parcels on a weekly basis to families, single parents, pensioners, students, homeless, individuals and anyone that need assistance with food – an average of 2,500 local families per year.
“Poverty doesn’t always look like you think it will,” says Sau Finau, Pastor of The Bay Community Church. “When we started this initiative, we were surprised to find the people we were supporting were not so many homeless people, but everyday families who might own their own cars and houses but after they pay bills have no money left for food, usually through redundancy, or not enough work. The data shows this problem is getting worse every year.
“We believe that no family in our communities should be going to bed hungry or to ever worry where the next meal will be coming from.”
Bread, fruit and vegies are picked up from supermarkets daily, and along with donations such as Weet-Bix and So Good, are distributed to homes through the pantry each Thursday.
“We don’t want to just give our community junk – we want to give them good healthy, sustainable food and Sanitarium helps us meet that need,” says Pr Finau.
“One of the most popular items is Weet-Bix, because parents can feed it to their kids in the morning and then again after school and they know it’s healthy. We’re privileged to have the support of Sanitarium.”
The Bay Food Pantry is also a proud recipient of a new refrigerated truck for the transportation of food and plans to start healthy cooking demonstrations and a breakfast program for the local high school in the near future.
The organisation has been serving the Lake Macquarie community for over five years and has inspired the establishment of over 30 food pantries.