Abundant Life Community Care launched in Blayney

HELPING HAND: Jenny Summerson packing up a larger than usual hamper for a family with four children in Blayney.

HELPING HAND: Jenny Summerson packing up a larger than usual hamper for a family with four children in Blayney.

One of the issues that has become apparent during the recent lockdown is that for some residents in Blayney securing low cost and healthy food can be difficult.

To help those in need Blayney's Abundant Life Church have started a registered charity called Abundant Life Community Care and its Lead Pastor Graeme Summerson has grand plans for the charity.

"At this stage we've started with just doing food hampers and a little bit of community care," he said. "We do plan on expanding it over time."

Mr Summerson said that the church had identified people in the community that are doing it tough and was encouraging its members to buy a few extra items when they went shopping.

"From those items we've started to put together a pantry that we could draw from," he said.

They then opened an account at Bernardi's MarketPlace and used donated funds to supplement what they had in the pantry.

"That allows us to buy fresh fruit and vegetables that goes along with all the pantry items."

If they contact the church we will put together a hamper for them and drop it off.

Pastor Graeme Summerson

Around the central west towns such as Orange, Bathurst, Cowra and Canowindra all have walk-in foodbanks available and Mr Summerson said that at the moment the Blayney service would be based around the delivery of hampers to those that contact them.

"If they contact the church we will put together a hamper for them and drop it off," he said.

As generous as the service is, Mr Summerson said that they were aware that there could be some in the community who could abuse the service.

"There are always those that will abuse it so if people are struggling financially because of choices that they make, then we would try to steer them towards places that will help them build a budget or link them with groups such as Lifeline," he said.

"If they come once or twice we'll give them food. If they come five or six times we'll be asking questions. We want to help people holistically, not just provide them with food."

The church is also asking for residents to look out for neighbours that they think may be struggling.

"If anyone in the community knows of someone that has a need, let us know," Mr Summerson said.

"Also we welcome donations of funds or non-perishable goods like canned food that we can store for a little while."

The idea of a walk-in foodbank similar to those in bigger centres may be difficult for the church due to the need for staffing.

"The vision is to set up a food pantry so if we can get people in the community and organisations to help us with tax deductible donations then we could be in the position where we can do that," he said.

If anyone wants to get involved in helping distribute the boxes, would like to make a donation of non-perishable goods or is in need of one, contact the church on 0412 480 007

HAVE YOUR SAY:

Send us your thoughts with a letter to the editor: