Food hub opens in Cumberland to support locals in need

A three times weekly food hub will begin next week in a landmark collaboration between OzHarvest and us.

OzHarvest will deliver food hampers to our community centres in Merrylands, Wentworthville and Berala which will be open for ‘click and collect’ for those in need.

Mayor Steve Christou said we have provided $50,000 plus the venues and staff.

“The ‘click and collect’ model works well for emergency food distribution – it aims to get essentials to the people who need it most while minimising contact among staff and recipients,” Mayor Christou said.

“Councillors voted to re-allocate advertising funds to this food initiative as we’ve been inundated with requests from our community who’ve been struggling through this lockdown. During the pandemic, we’ve had to re-prioritise budgets to ensure our community is supported and this is just another example of us doing that.”

OzHarvest Hamper Project Lead, Shannon Richardson said the collaboration with Cumberland Council will extend the reach of the current OzHarvest services.

“The ‘click and collect’ program will run in addition to the weekly OzHarvest Hamper Hub at Granville. It’s the first time we’ve worked with a council to do this and we’re looking forward to being able to support more people who need food relief in this area.”

While the food is provided by OzHarvest, our $50,000 contribution will purchase personal hygiene and household cleaning products, which are in high demand. This includes toothpaste, toilet paper, body wash, deodorant, feminine hygiene items and household cleaning products. Those items will be available from 27 September.

Our library staff will also add books, coloured pencils and activity packs for young children.

Residents can register via a web form or phone our call centre (02 8757 9000), with referrals also from councillors, police, local schools and community groups.

Initially, there will be 300 hampers a week available from the new food hub. This is in addition to the 200-300 OzHarvest hampers we are home delivering from our Auburn depot every Thursday and in addition to OzHarvest’s Hamper Hub which from this week is located at Granville Town Hall.

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