Com­pan­ion­ship and a meal on the menu

Cockburn Gazette - - OPINION -

VOL­UN­TEERS be­hind a bi­monthly com­mu­nity din­ner say peo­ple now come as much for the com­pan­ion­ship as they do the free meal.

It was July 2015 when the Great Life Church in Yange­bup hosted its first Din­ner Ta­ble to sup­port the com­mu­nity’s most iso­lated.

Co-founders Liz Fairall and Kathryn Stevens wanted to of­fer peo­ple a meal and a safe place where they could meet oth­ers in the com­mu­nity.

A year on, Ms Fairall said vol­un­teers were help­ing up to 50 peo­ple ev­ery sec­ond Monday dur­ing the school term.

“We’ve con­nected with so many peo­ple over the last year who come out to have din­ner with us more for the com­pany than the food,” she said.

“We’ve been able to help peo­ple with other needs as well, which has been great. They’ve be­come part of our fam­ily.”

The work of the church and other groups and char­i­ties in Perth can­not be un­der­stated.

Food­bank’s 2016 Hunger Re­port found one in six Aus­tralians had ex­pe­ri­enced a lack of food in the past 12 months.

About half of those had turned to a char­ity for sup­port.

Not hav­ing enough money in the first place, un­ex­pected ex­penses, large bills and rent were some of the main rea­sons peo­ple could not pay for food.

Mr Fairall said vol­un­teers were look­ing to in­tro­duce a weekly din­ner in the next 12 months.

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