Food hub could feed community

SHOPPING: Charity organisation Foodbank are seeking funding to establish a food hub in Whyalla.
SHOPPING: Charity organisation Foodbank are seeking funding to establish a food hub in Whyalla.

Food is an important part of our lifestyle, with groceries like fruit and vegetables key to maintaining a healthy diet.

However financial burden can often force people to purchase junk food and other unhealthy meals due to their low cost.

Foodbank are hoping to establish a Community Food Hub in Whyalla, to give those for those experiencing financial difficulty a way to eat healthy without spending a large amount of money.

The charity organisation is seeking $100,000 in funding to get the project off the ground through the state government’s Fund My Neighbourhood program.

Foodbank Regional Manager for Mid North and West Coast Sandy Woodford said several community groups were calling out for a Food Hub in Whyalla.

“The hub offers low-cost shopping for people on a low income. They have to go through an agency still – Foodbank gives the agencies vouchers, and the agencies will give those people access to the hub,” she said.

“It might be just a one-off or for three months, however long it takes to get them back on track financially. All of our fruit and vegetables are free.

“If someone gets a $30 voucher from their agency, at the hub that voucher would buy them around $200 worth of groceries. That increases their budget for other things and gives them a chance to get back on track.”

Foodbank sources the food via its food rescue operations and direct donations from farmers, wholesalers, manufacturers and supermarkets. 

“I attend a lot of agency meetings around the place, and Whyalla is in dire need for this community hub to be set up,” Ms Woodford said.

Foodbank CEO Greg Pattinson said the community hub would allow people to shop with dignity.

“It’s a dignified experience because they get to shop for the goods they want, not what they would otherwise have to settle for,” he said.

“In the next two years we’re hoping to host food education sessions at these food hubs where people can learn to cook.”

So far five Food Hubs have been successfully implemented in Adelaide.