An open door and a hot meal deliver comfort in tough times

FareShare meals are providing welcome relief to Brisbane’s West End where locals including many First Nations people face a mountain of challenges.

“It’s food security, it’s the rental crisis, it’s the Covid crisis,” says Kylie Deen of West End Community House. “There’s not enough housing, not enough rentals, not enough employment.”

The impact is obvious from the people camping nearby in Musgrave Park and sleeping under bridges. What has changed recently is that some of the people needing assistance are employed.

“We’re seeing a lot of rough sleepers,” says Kylie, who runs the Kurilpa kiosk, a community space with microwaves. “It’s a complete mixture. There are long-term rough sleepers and people with jobs. Your meals help anyone and everyone.

They heat in no amount of time so we can have lots of people fed. They offer speed, nutrients and variety. They are really popular.”

At the welcoming Community House close by, Kylie’s colleague Andrew Webster has seen a surge in demand for services which began with Covid, and worsened with flooding, and cost of living pressures.“

Uncle Adam Hopkins collects a meal from Kurilpa Kiosk.
FareShare's First Nations Officer Jason Mollenhaeur with West End Community House Community Development Worker Andrew Webster.

Once Covid hit we started doing food packs and it just hasn’t stopped. We went from 20 visitors a day to 150 during the floods,” said Andrew. “Each day people come in we’ve never seen before.”

As well as helping to bring people together, FareShare meals are important for boosting health and wellbeing. 

“How do you function at full capacity if you’re not getting full nutrition?” asks Andrew. “The quality meals FareShare provides each week are invaluable to our community.” 

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