FEEDING THE PEOPLE: Pastor Colin Scott, Barry Perry (vlounteer), Jenny Dowell, Mayor of Lismore, Alan Hoskins (chairman of the Uniting Care Aging) and recipient Carryl Hobday of Lismore celebrating the first year of the Food Pantry in Lismore.
FEEDING THE PEOPLE: Pastor Colin Scott, Barry Perry (vlounteer), Jenny Dowell, Mayor of Lismore, Alan Hoskins (chairman of the Uniting Care Aging) and recipient Carryl Hobday of Lismore celebrating the first year of the Food Pantry in Lismore. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Need for help growing as food pantry turns one

FOR a year now, Lismore Regional Mission's Food Pantry has been making life easier for people feeling the financial pinch.

The Food Pantry takes food items donated by corporate organisations and sells them to the public at a fraction of the cost of normal groceries.

Operated every Thursday, Pastor Colin Scott from Lismore Regional Mission said the response has been overwhelming, with 500 members and between 70 and 100 people being helped each week.

"Our numbers continue to go up as more people struggle to make ends meet in the financial climate - we get everyone from pensioners to single parents," Paster Scott said.

"You can buy groceries at about a third of the cost of supermarkets - people can walk away with three or four bags of shopping for around $22."

He said they were hoping that in the future they could expand their supply base by asking local producers to donate as well.

Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell was on hand yesterday to help cut the birthday cake, and said the unique concept and the response showed a definite need in the community for this kind of service to take the pressure off already stretched budgets.

"The Food Pantry is putting food on the table at an affordable price for vulnerable people when there's not enough money to last," Cr Dowell said.

Pastor Scott stressed that the Food Pantry was open to anyone who has a pension or healthcare card and membership is free.

He said they had a wide spectrum of people using the pantry, from pensioners, to single parents, to ordinary people or families who are simply finding it tough at the end of the fortnight.

Carryl Hobday has been using the Food Pantry in the last year and said it's simply been a saviour for her.

A couple of years ago Ms Hobday suddenly went from having a good job to being on a disability pension due to a medical condition, making her homeless.



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