Relief fund targets hunger
THE Emergency Relief Fund has helped almost 850 individuals and families in Mossman from going hungry in the past year, but now stocks are low and donations are needed.
Minimum funds are received annually from the government and the Mossman Community Centre is concerned their dwindling resources will not make it until the next funding round in February.
Community Development Officer Jill Bradley said they also provide hot meals, which is not funded by the government, as a voluntary activity funded by donations.
‘‘We served 1210 meals in one year and 362 meals in the last three months and helped 844 not just people but families with the Emergency Relief Fund,’’ she said.
‘‘ We have had some great community donations and food drives from St Augustine’s, Miallo, Wonga and Mossman primary schools and Lend Lease and we are very mindful of how we use the donations but we don’t want people to walk out of here with nothing.
‘‘We are calling on the community for assistance to help because although the food drives have helped sustained the Fund, the need is always going to be there.’’
Ms Bradley said the fact is most people are only one or two pays away from finding themselves in financial difficulty.
Community Counsellor Michelle Philp said the Fund has a criteria everyone meets, even people who are working but find themselves in a small crisis.
‘‘If someone is sick and not getting paid and the bills come in which they pay but then have no money left for food, we can help,’’ she said.
‘‘Sometimes there are unforeseen circumstances like a sick child and not enough money for medication, we can help with scripts as well.
‘‘We also offer people little personal packs which is something that puts a smile on people’s face because those products are quite expensive, such as shampoo, soaps, toothpaste and deodorant.’’
Ms Philp said she has had interactions 244 homeless people in the past year, a figure that has been increasing over the last five years.
‘‘I am very concerned on how long our money will last,’’ she said.
‘‘We did an office food drive the other week, something people could do with their own work place. Cash donations are welcome too, otherwise we have a drop box in Woolworths for food.’’
Donations to the Emergency Relief Fund can include any all non-perishables including rice, pasta, vegetables, tuna, cereals, long-life milk, sugar, canned fruit, canned beans, soups, shampoo, conditioner, soap, deodorant, sanitary products, nappies and more. To donate to the Emergency Relief Fund, you can put food in a drop-box at Woolworths in Mossman, or contact the Mossman Community Centre on 4098 2005, or drop in at 20 Mill Street, Mossman.
PLEASE GIVE: Jill Bradley (left) and Michelle Philp show examples of food needed