IN A little red brick cottage, beside a railway line, a group of people are cooking up ideas to bring the community together and provide those in need with a warm meal.
A joint initiative between Anglicare, Parish of Springmount, Creswick Lions Club, the Creswick Railway Workshop and the RACV Goldfields Report will ensure everyone in Creswick – including those doing it tough – have a place to go, eat a warm meal and have a chat every fortnight.
Foodbank’s annual hunger report showed one in six Australians had not had enough food to eat in the past 12 months, according to Foodbank’s annual Hunger Report. There are no statistics for each regional area, however more than 133,000 people need food from Victorian charities each month, with more than 38,000 of those children. Volunteers in Creswick are trying to address that need.
Anglicare Parish Partnerships member Alison Andrew said the idea for free meals came after community members came together wanting to provide a meal for those struggling financially.
“(But also) for those who may experience physical restrictions and those seeking connectedness in their community and company in their day to day life,” Ms Andrew said.
“This is an opportunity for meal recipients and helpers alike to gather and share their lives and experiences.”
RACV Goldfields Resort administration manager Joanne Bott said the resort would pitch in by supplying food donations to the group. Employees would also be encouraged to join the volunteer roster and help out with cooking.
“This is an opportunity for community engagement and a chance to give back to the community,” Ms Bott said.
“It’s about connecting to the community.”
Long-time Anglicare parish volunteer Eileen Coveney said the start-up idea was funded by the parish fund. She said the idea was for members to create outreach programs to help anyone in Ballarat.
For years, members have been dropping of food baskets to those in need- but this dinner provides an added element, acting as a meeting point for everything, Ms Coveney said.
A free meal is provided between 4.30pm and 6.30pm fortnightly in winter.
Tuesday was the first session. Anyone interested should go to the Creswick railway station waiting room at that time.
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