Stocked up: Community development worker, Kim Boyd stacking shelves of essentials in Anglicare Victoria Ballarat’s mini supermarket. Photo: EDWINA WILLIAMS

Emergency relievers bundle food, warmth and care

June 30, 2020 BY

AN agency benefiting from the 3BA Winter Appeal, Anglicare Victoria Ballarat continues to work through these cold, COVID months to provide emergency relief to people in need.

Emergency relief coordinator, Naomi Stephenson said clients currently tend to call ahead, whether new or regular visitors, and then arrive at Anglicare’s Bakery Hill base between 10.30am to 12pm, Monday to Thursday, where they specialise in food assistance.

“Usually we have a mini supermarket set up, so a person would present at the front door, come in, and be able to select what items of food they can use at home. If it’s a single person, that’s 22 items of food, and that increases, the more they have in their family,” she said.

“Initially when COVID started, we had our usual, expected number of clients. During that time, we were no longer able to have clients come into the building and pack their own hampers, and the City of Ballarat started working with us in delivering our own pre-packaged hampers to people.

“They’re still doing that, but only once a week.”

Sourcing fresh produce and non-perishables from supermarkets, public donations, Foodbank and SecondBite, hampers are bundled with breakfast and dinner items, and some staples.

While those in need are encouraged to access the mini supermarket monthly, Anglicare has a stock of donated knitted items, blankets and warm coats to distribute.

Annually at this time, the agency would be receiving further warm clothes through the 3BA Winter Appeal, but 2020 is no normal year.

“We are still going to get blankets, but we’re not receiving second-hand items we’d usually get because we’re being super careful,” Ms Stephenson said.

Each day Anglicare will see a client who has never had to access a service like theirs before.

“It reminds us how awkward it can be for them. They’re quite embarrassed and it’s humbling,” Ms Stephenson said.

A community breakfast is served at Lydiard Street’s Anglican Diocesan Centre, Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 10am. Sausages, toasties, hot coffees and more are available for takeaway.

Community development worker, Kim Boyd encourages people to give to the 3BA Winter Appeal if they can, where warm items or food will be evenly distributed between them, the Salvos, Vinnies and Uniting.

“We don’t know what need is around the corner, and it’s not just us saying that, a lot of people are predicting it. It’s the calm before the storm,” she said.