EMERGENCY RELIEF CENTRE
UnitingCare Taperoo is a partnership between the Lefevre Uniting Church and UnitingCare SA that established an Emergency Relief Centre where fruit and vegetables and pre ordered frozen meals are distributed to people in need.
The community was an important part of helping UnitingCare Taperoo to get going. Adelaide-Brighton Cement Ltd jumped in early with a generous grant. Since then, further support has been provided by the Port Adelaide Enfield Council, OzHarvest, Meals on Wheels and community donations.
The food that is distributed is sourced from the SecondBite Community Connect program. This program aims to reduce food waste and provide nutritious food to people in need. It is great to have a local community partnership that works for everyone.
The food that is donated varies each week, but depending upon what is available we will:
- prepare and cook frozen meals; and
- provide fresh fruit and vegetables.
In 2020 UnitingCare Taperoo distributed 4,845 meals and 3,381 kg of food (941 kg of fruit, 1,458 kg of vegetables, 935 kg of bakery products and 35 kg of eggs).
Every person collecting a meal has a story to share. Many have spoken of the way in which the care provided through the initiative has helped them in their time of need.
Jane* should be enjoying her retirement. Instead, she is battling cancer and her daughter’s family has moved in after losing their jobs. A few frozen meals and a good chat with the volunteers has helped her to go away with a little more cheer in her heart.
Sophie* rings every week and talks to the volunteers for 20 minutes when ordering her preferred meals. Being unable to get food from the local supermarket or catch up with friends and relatives has really taken a toll on Sophie. For her and others, having someone to talk to over the phone when ordering their meals is as important as the food itself
Pete* came in to see “what all the fuss was about.” After talking for a bit, it turns out his family is experiencing financial stress as a result of being stood down by his employer. He’s the only breadwinner in the family and it’s hard to ask for help. But when several meals were offered, he was thrilled to take them home.
There have also been families like Steve’s*: when they came in, they didn’t even have any winter clothes for their kids. This is when it is great to have an Op Shop onsite. They got to pick out some warm things for the whole family.
*not their real names