Lithgow Information and Neighbourhood Centre (LINC) have helped 2808 community members with their Second Bite food for people in need program between October 2017 and October 2018.
The program which has been running since July 17, 2017 has seen 1652kg of fruit, 2197kg of vegetables and 9520 loaves of bread and bread rolls handed out to residents.
It has also seen volunteers donate over 936 hours over three days a week of distribution for the past year.
“On average we get about 20 people a day and 60 a week, with many turning up 12.30 as soon as we distribute,” LINC general manager Sharon Holt said.
The program which runs on Monday, Wednesday and Friday sees volunteers collect vegetables, fruit, and bread from Coles before they weigh and count everything and enter it into a system to record how much they received.
“It isn’t a come and take all you want, we record how much we have and the volunteers work out an even amount for everybody,” she said.
The food collected are items that would have been taken off the shelf that day, that are no longer for sale but are still good to eat.
“We never know how much we are going to get,” Lithgow Cares member Leanne Walding said.
The partnership with Coles began after the group met with the three big food chains in Lithgow but Coles was the only one to accept.
“We are grateful that Coles chose to be our distributor,” she said.
According to Ms Holt the residents are always grateful for the food they collect.
“We get all walks of life that benefit from the food and we encourage everyone in the community that needs a little help to come down because there is no judgement whatsoever,” Ms Holt said.
Ms Holt praised the volunteer group of Nathan, Rhonda, Narelle and Kylie for giving up their spare time to help others in the community.
“We are lucky to have these volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to do it without them,” she said.
The volunteers collect the food, weigh it, stack it and help the community members take their share.
“LINC appreciates all their volunteers for the work they provide for their community,” Ms Holt said.
The distribution of the food happens at 12.30 on Monday, Wednesday and Friday but Ms Holt said that residents can come after work or when they have some spare time.
“It’s just a really great program that we are proud of,” Ms Walding said.
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