Gold Coast locals affected by COVID-19 have been able to access fresh food thanks to a new community garden constructed at the King’s Community Care Centre.
King’s Operations Manager Shirley Sykes said the Centre had been providing emergency relief food to locals for more than 27 years and had seen a double increase in people accessing their services during the pandemic.
“Lots of new clients – people who have lost their jobs, or whose family members have lost jobs and sadly young people as well. They’re struggling to get to the end of the week with food,” Ms Sykes said.
“Thanks to our new garden, we’ve been able to top up our usual supplies to help vulnerable members of the community get through this uncertain time.”
According to Ms Sykes, the Centre was reliant on donated food but didn’t have enough fresh fruit and vegetables for their free food hampers.
“Our supplies dwindle and sometimes I would have to go and purchase items myself. So I thought by having our own community garden we can top up our supplies with fresh grown produce,” Ms Sykes said.
“We love to help people and we’re good at it. I just love the fact that our Cooks can now go and cut fresh herbs and grab some fresh veggies to put in their cooking.”
A $3,750 donation from the ETC Community Support Fund enabled Ms Sykes and her team of volunteers to purchase the garden beds, soil, fertilizer, plants, seeds and equipment needed for their project.
“ETC have been fantastic to us. To have them come and help us to get this garden up and going was such good timing especially with the strangeness of a pandemic,” Ms Sykes said.
Gold Coast local Michelle thanked by ETC and King’s Community Care for supporting locals who are struggling.
“When Coronavirus hit Australia, I lost my job and I’m a carer as well. The support here has been amazing, the people are kind and the meals are fantastic,” Michelle said.
ETC Director Isabel Borelli, said it was a pleasure to be able to support King’s Community Care with their Community Garden project.
“The ETC Community Support Fund is designed to help organisations reduce disadvantage, generate opportunity, increase support services and/or build capacity in the communities in which we operate,” Ms Borelli said.
“Since 2012 we have given back $1 million to local communities through the ETC Community Support Fund. We are proud to be a not-for-profit company.”
If you are a Gold Coast local who is struggling and needs support with food supplies – reach out to the King’s Community Care team on 07 5522 0802 or drop into their Centre at 56 Gemvale Rd, Reedy Creek.
ETC also provides employment and training services on the Gold Coast. To find out more contact our friendly team on 1800 007 400.
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