Mar­ket con­di­tions im­prove

Comment News (Gosnells) - - Comment - Jes­sica Nico

MUR­RAY Dixon knows what it’s like to hit rock bot­tom.

The By­ford res­i­dent lost his house and sav­ings af­ter a busi­ness deal went south but said he was deeply grate­ful for the help he and his fam­ily re­ceived from friends and the lo­cal com­mu­nity.

Now back on his feet, Mr Dixon and his wife Val are pay­ing it for­ward by help­ing oth­ers ex­pe­ri­enc­ing tough times through the By­ford Bap­tist Church’s Free Food Mar­ket.

Mr Dixon said what started as a Chris­tians Against Poverty (CAP) ini­tia­tive had be­come an im­por­tant ser­vice for those in need of help.

“Val and I were asked if we would man­age the food mar­ket sev­eral weeks be­fore Christ­mas in 2016 and the mar­ket has gone from hav­ing one cus­tomer, to eight, to a max­i­mum of 72 in July 2017,” he said.

“It was quickly re­alised the ex­tent of the prob­lem in By­ford and the sur­round­ing sub­urbs and that we needed to pro­vide prac­ti­cal help in the form of food for those fam­i­lies who had been hit with job loss, re­dun­dan­cies etc.”

The Free Food mar­ket re­ceives gro­cery do­na­tions from lo­cal Aldi, IGA and Coles stores, but still needs $150 worth of food from Food­bank to keep up with the 50 lo­cal fam­i­lies ask­ing for help ev­ery week.

In a fi­nan­cial boost, the not­for-profit group has re­ceived a $2000 grant to help cover the short­fall as part of P&N Bank’s Help­ing Hands pro­gram.

Mr Dixon said the money would help them con­tinue to bol­ster the quan­tity of food they could of­fer.

“In July 2017 the free food mar­ket was down to the last $5,” he said.

“This grant will en­able the Free Food Mar­ket to con­tinue the work and pro­vide for ad­di­tional fam­i­lies if re­quired, be­cause we can plan and man­age the pro­vi­sion of gro­ceries with the knowl­edge that there are funds to en­sure the on­go­ing vi­a­bil­ity of the ser­vice to the com­mu­nity.

“The knowl­edge that this grant has been made avail­able by the P&N Bank has taken the stress out of the plan­ning process for the pur­chase of goods from Food­bank WA.”

The Free Food Mar­ket is look­ing for busi­ness spon­sor­ship or do­na­tions.

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