The need grows for FareShare’s First Nations meals

As devastating floods follow Cyclone Jasper in Far North Queensland, FareShare’s support of First Nations communities has never been more important.

This year more than 300,000 Meals for the Mob were cooked in FareShare’s Brisbane kitchen with communities at risk of natural disaster including Cairns, Yarrabah and Mornington Island, topped up with meals just before the torrential rains caused havoc. This enabled FareShare meals to support relief efforts including at the emergency evacuation centre set up in Cooktown. 

FareShare’s First Nations Officer Jason Mollenhauer has been fielding calls from communities cut off by record rainfall and anxious to receive our meals. “With train lines down, we’re looking for a way to get meals up there,” he said. “People are literally being plucked off roofs in Wujal Wujal.”

Jason Mollenhaeur holds up our new Meals for the Mob range.
The team from Rekindling the Spirit take part in a Meals for the Mob cook up in our Brisbane kitchen. Photo: Chris Owen.

Last week he personally delivered meals to NSW’s Northern Rivers where the community is still recovering from the catastrophic flooding of 2022.

Rekindling the Spirit (RTS), FareShare’s meal relief partner in Lismore, supports many First Nations people displaced by floods and still living in temporary pods. The RTS team took part in a Meals for the Mob cook-up in FareShare’s Brisbane kitchen and were delighted to fill up their empty freezer with the meatloaf, mash and veg dish they helped cook. 

“We’ve had people waiting for these meals,” said Izzy Walton, Wellbeing Manager. “The community know to come in on the last Thursday of the month.”

Reflecting on a momentous year for FareShare’s First Nations program which also included events in NAIDOC and National Reconciliation Week, and participating in the NSW Food Equity Symposium, Jason said the program was making a real impact.

“Meals for the Mob is definitely being recognised for what it is – a community-based initiative which more and more communities are asking for. We are looking forward to bringing it to Victoria next year.”

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