Isolated but not forgotten, FareShare meals provide hope to Wurruk

Some requests for FareShare meals simply cannot be ignored no matter the challenges our chefs face in meeting the soaring need for them. 

While the cost-of-living crisis is hurting people across our community, for those already struggling it is making life unbearable. 

FareShare recently responded to a request for meals from the small Gippsland community of Wurruk near Sale. 

Wurruk is statistically recognised as one of the most disadvantaged communities in the whole nation with the majority of people living in social housing on Centrelink payments. 

Wurruk community members in the Community House pantry
Sarah Bardsley, manager of Wurruk Community House, likes the choice and dignity of FareShare meals.

Sarah Bardsley, manager of Wurruk Community House, says people are forced to make difficult choices every day with limited public transport to access the shopping precinct over 5kms away. 

“This week alone about 10 people mentioned not being able to afford fuel even,” said Sarah. “They say ‘do I buy milk and bread, or do I buy fuel? But I can’t get milk or bread unless I put fuel in the car. I even had a mum who could not afford $39 for a new pair of glasses that she desperately needed, as they always put their kids’ needs first.

“We often get people coming in who are just beside themselves. They’ve got a kid’s birthday coming up and they just can’t make ends meet. It’s sad.” 

Like many other community houses, Wurruk opened a food pantry during COVID and since then the need for support has only grown. FareShare’s ready-to-eat nutritious meals offer important choice. 

The meals are going great guns,” said Sarah who has secured grant funding for a freezer to store them. “We have a lot of large families and knowing that there’s food in the pantry for the kids is good. 

“It allows dignity. On our food pantry days, people can select what they like and have a cuppa. For some of them it’s the only time they get to speak to people or connect. We are stable and here all the time.”

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