OzHarvest partnership delivers fresh food to frontline services

Communicare CEO Melissa Perry thanked OzHarvest and the Federal Government for the opportunity to be part of the #HampersforHope initiative, providing fresh food to families and individuals accessing our services.

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Communicare has formed a partnership with food rescue organisation OzHarvest to help meet the growing demand of families and individuals experiencing food insecurity across Perth.

The #HampersforHope program was started by OzHarvest last year in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and provides not-for-profit organisations with up to 50 hampers per week each, chock-full of fresh fruit, vegetables, wholemeal bread rolls, eggs and healthy recipes.

All produce is sourced fresh from the Canning Vale Markets and distributed on the same day.

Communicare CEO Melissa Perry thanked OzHarvest and the Federal Government for the opportunity to be part of the #HampersforHope initiative, providing fresh food to families and individuals accessing our services.

"We all know the challenges of 2020 and as we head into the new year, people and families face even greater uncertainty as COVID-related income supports are cut and many people find themselves living below the poverty line once again," Ms Perry said.

"In addition, we know that finding and maintaining housing for people who are unemployed, or on low incomes, is becoming increasingly difficult. This will only be exacerbated when the COVID-19 rental moratorium ends in March. 

"Every family should have access to healthy, nutritious fresh food, but sadly for some the budget doesn't stretch beyond keeping a roof over the family's head and the electricity switched-on.

"Hampers for Hope will help bridge the food insecurity gap for so many West Australians, including the people we work with across our family and children, education and employmentand justice," she said.

The first round of hampers will be delivered to the Breathing Space programs in Calista and Maylands in mid-January, followed by the Communicare Academy in February when the school year recommences. Further hampers will be made available for Communicare clients on a staged basis once an internal process has been finalised.

Jennifer Keen, OzHarvest WA State Manager, said the Hampers for Hope initiative came about after they identified that while there were a number of non-perishable food hampers available for people seeking food relief, access to fresh and nutritious food items was limited. ​

"While food is at the heart of everything we do, the impact goes way beyond what we deliver," Ms Keen said.

"During the past year's uncertainty, our amazing team has continued to deliver nutritious food with the broadest smiles and enthusiasm, offering comfort and hope during these tough times.

"In 2021, the OzHarvest team looks forward to partnering with Communicare to ensure that good food goes to good people!"

Ms Keen said the fresh fruit and vegetable hampers included (but were not limited to): apples, bananas, broccoli, carrots, corn, cucumber, onions, potatoes, pumpkin, tomatoes, eggs and wholemeal bread rolls. It also includes a healthy recipe taken from OzHarvest's NEST booklet.

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