Australian families spend on average $314 a week on food and drink.* For some time, Anglicare has been concerned about the high level of food insecurity experienced by those who come to us for assistance. Setting up and staffing multiple pantry locations in the community wasn’t feasible, so the Mobile Community Pantry offered a great alternative.
It’s taken about 18 months for this initiative to become a reality. Anglicare has partnered with Foodbank, and various Anglican Churches who run the pantry with parish volunteers. Our purpose-built van, fully stocked with groceries, now rolls up to nine Churches on a regular schedule. For a $10 contribution, people with a Pension, Health Care or Immigration Card can collect up to $60 worth of food from the mobile pantry.
By saving on their grocery bill people can pay other essential items like rent, electricity and water bills. It can also help when unexpected events, such as a sudden hospital visit or car breakdown, and tighten that week’s budget even further.
Sustainable Living Service Leader, Teresa Clark says, “We’re really pleased to connect with parishes and with vulnerable people in their local community. The mobile pantry provides churches with another opportunity to reach out to people in need and build ongoing relationships. From what I’ve heard some of these connections have been amazing.”
The Mobile Community Pantry visits highly disadvantaged suburbs, as well as suburbs with pockets of need. Parish churches hope this initiative will make a difference in their local community. Anglicare aims to partner with up to 16 churches by the end of this year. Churches interested in running a Mobile Community Pantry on their site can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
*2012 Australian Securities Investment Commission
Public Affairs Manager