FareShare meals help put the ‘hope’ in Croydon’s Hope City Mission

‘HOPE’. The motto on the t-shirts worn by Hope City Mission staff and volunteers says it all.

This well-run, wholesome charity radiates positivity and provides effective, holistic, people-centred support. 

FareShare has been providing meals to Hope City Mission since the early days of Covid, the lingering effects of which are still apparent at the Croydon-based charity, not only in the sheer demand but also in the drive-through method of distribution they have retained. 

Hope City Mission uses modern technology to streamline their operations. Clients book online, where they can request specific items like nappies or toiletries, and are given a set time (up to once a week).

When they pull up at the drive-through area, Hope City Mission volunteers take the time to chat to clients and confirm their order, which they input into a small device. Staff and volunteers are waiting inside to prepare it and bring it to the waiting vehicle.

Included in almost every food pack are FareShare meals, either single-serve meals or family-sized meals depending on the client. According to everyone at Hope City Mission, they are a hit! 

Cars wait at the Hope City Mission drive-through for food packs, which include ever-popular FareShare meals.
Shaye holds up two FareShare meals during her regular visit to Hope City Mission. These meals help her feed her two children nutritious meals every day.

Mother-of-two Shaye is one such admirer.

“I love FareShare meals,” Shaye says. “I need them
fortnightly to feed my family. I love that they are wholesome and delicious. I can microwave them so they are ready to eat quickly.”

For many people like Shaye and her family, FareShare meals
help take the stress out of wondering where their next meal will come from, and out of having to cook. 

“Most people we see are in some form of crisis,” says Hope City Mission CEO Andrew Magrath.

“The stories from the clients are heartbreaking and so just having that meal where they don’t have to think…it is a bit of order in their life.

“Some people don’t have the ability to cook food or the emotional capacity at that moment, and so just being able to put a FareShare meal in the microwave after a crappy day is awesome.”

Another key benefit Andrew sees in FareShare meals is how they help Hope City Mission engage with people in the community. 

“FareShare meals and other food are a great point entry point to other stuff,” Andrew tells us. “Because we are trying to deal with the bigger, deeper needs that may also be there. We have counselling services, a finance program, an online education portal.” 

Hope City Mission distribute more than 400 FareShare meals each month. But even this is not enough to meet the increased demand. For the first time ever, they are struggling to have enough food to distribute to the existing community members they support.

“It’s endless. We could take more people, but we need to be able to service it,” says Andrew. 

Friendly Hope City Mission staff and volunteers take a break to pose in this photo with FareShare's Sam (bottom) and Tilly (right).
Hope City Mission's community garden runs alongside their great facilities.

FareShare is hopeful we can provide Hope City Mission with more free, nutritious meals from our revamped Abbotsford kitchen. But for now, they supplement food where they can, including a modest community garden, which they use to grow nutritious greens for their clients. 

Despite the need for more food, the Hope City Mission team remains, well, full of hope.

As we wrap up our visit, we say hello to a volunteer gardener, a camera-shy but jovial middle-aged man. He tells us a bit about the garden – what’s growing, how it came to be – and how he came to volunteer there.

“We do what we can,” he concludes, a warm smile etched across his face. “We’re a community after all, and we’re all in it together. You’re doing great work. May God bless you all.” 

Help FareShare maximise production in our newly expanded Abbotsford kitchen, so we can support people-centred charities like Hope City Mission that are struggling to keep up with the increased demand in their communities.

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