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Between March and May 2020 our BaptistCare HopeStreet teams in the Hunter and Sydney’s Inner City each received grants from the City of Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and the City of Sydney respectively, to respond to challenges posed by COVID-19.
The City of Newcastle provided $25,000 to HopeStreet locations at Wallsend and Mayfield to help support vulnerable people in the Hunter with emergency relief packages and food support. In addition to care and food packs, our teams issued Woolworths and Coles vouchers, hand sanitiser, cleaning products, petrol vouchers, sleeping bags, and pharmacy products. The funding also allowed us to distribute takeaway meals from our outreach van, and deliver food and essentials items to people experiencing food insecurity who could not visit our locations due to the increased need for people to stay at home.
HopeStreet Windale received $5,000 to provide clients with food vouchers for our low-cost grocery store as well as ‘winter warmer’ packs and other care packages to help people struggling to make ends meet.
In Sydney’s Inner City, our team saw an opportunity to connect with our clients who were experiencing disadvantage during the health and economic crisis, with a new program offering food security, social connection and digital skills for 40 households in the Woolloomooloo area.
The $10,000 grant means each household in the program is provided with meal kits for ten weeks, and will join online tutorials to learn about topics including nutrition, cooking on a budget, and how to use the tablets devices they are provided with.
In the short term, meal kits will ensure participants have reliable access to fresh and healthy food, while longer term, participants will grow their digital and cooking skills, and gain knowledge and confidence to live healthier and independent lives.
Photo courtesy of Lake Macquarie City Council.