Ris­ing costs force Manna into ser­vice cut for needy

Guardian Express - - NEWS - By JU­LIAN WRIGHT

“FI­NAN­CIAL and vol­un­teer dif­fi­cul­ties” will force Manna to stop serv­ing meals to the home­less on Sun­days af­ter this month.

Tonight, City of Vin­cent coun­cil­lors will con­sider waiv­ing a $4320 Weld Square hire fee to al­low the or­gan­i­sa­tion to de­liver its ser­vices for a fur­ther six months.

If passed, af­ter more than 20 years, Manna will re­duce its ser­vice days from six to five but still from 1.30-2.30pm each day.

The ser­vice pro­vides on aver­age 250 meals a day, pre­pared by volunteers, in­clud­ing soup, main meal, dessert, snacks and wa­ter.

Manna co-founder Bev­er­ley Lowe, who runs it with her hus­band John, said sky­rock­et­ing costs had im­pacted the ser­vice.

“It costs us more than $2000 ev­ery time we open the kitchen with in­sur­ance, power, food, petrol; it all costs money and we rely on do­na­tions,” she said.

“The de­ci­sion to stop serv­ing on Sun­days was not made lightly.

“And we are now fac­ing the busiest part of the year with Christ­mas com­ing, it just gets fran­tic.”

The Lowes launched a crowd fund­ing page in Oc­to­ber with hopes to raise $100,000 that will go to “the pur­chase of pantry items for Manna to pre­pare as meals for those in need”.

“This year Manna has ex­pe­ri­enced a long, hard win­ter with in­creas­ing num­bers of fam­i­lies re­quir­ing our al­ready ex­hausted ser­vices,” the founders wrote. To date, $1100 has been raised. To do­nate, go to https://www. gofundme.com/manna-needsy­our-help.

Bev­er­ley and John Lowe feed­ing the needy at Weld Square on Fri­day.

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