Free FareShare meals and human contact boost wellbeing at The Wellington

The Wellington is a community drop-in centre in Collingwood, VIC. It opened in mid-2020 and runs food services featuring FareShare meals on Mondays and Thursdays, predominantly for residents in the nearby housing estates. FareShare meals are also offered on-the-spot to people who drop in. The Wellington offers medical and counselling services to locals too. 

When we visited last month, we got to meet a few of The Wellington’s regulars…

Jim

Collingwood local Jim visits The Wellington for food assistance including FareShare’s ready to eat meals, which will sustain him for the week. He has only basic cooking facilities at home but enough to be able to heat up his FareShare meals, which he loves. 

Jim came to Australia from Greece in 1966 and worked for Telstra for many years. He is now looking for work and feeling the effects of the high cost of living. “If it wasn’t for The Wellington, I don’t know what I’d do,” says Jim.

Adam

Adam lives close to The Wellington and was enquiring about their services for himself, but mostly for a few squatters he lives next to who are facing tough times. “I haven’t been able to afford gas for two years now,” Adam told FareShare matter-of-factly.

“Your meals are great because I can heat them in a microwave, which is all I have.” He left with a few of them, and seemed genuinely happy to have been given so many. 

Dave

Dave is an elderly local who frequents The Wellington. 

“I don’t talk to people for 3-4 days sometimes,” he admitted when FareShare spoke to him. “I like to come down here for a chat and some human contact.” 

He hadn’t tried FareShare meals before but, after chatting with us, decided he would give them a try. 

Jim holds up a FareShare meal in front of The Wellington
Some locals wait for FareShare meals and other food and essentials at The Wellington.

Vieli

Vieli is The Wellington’s bubbly, energetic youth mentor and food relief coordinator. 

When we visited, he was responsible for handing out food to the dozens of people waiting. As such, he is very familiar with our meals. 

“Your meals are great. For us, they’re a great way of attracting people in. We heat up your meals and can offer them then and there. 

“The difference after a hot feed is transformative. We can see people’s faces become happier as they enjoy your meals.” 

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