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Community Spirit Shines Through Despite Anxiety Over Northern Beaches Covid Lockdown

By Community Co-Op Northern Beaches
Posted: 22 Dec 2020
Local Community Co-op charity delivers urgent respite to 165 families over Christmas

A collaborative effort that embodies the spirit of Christmas and Northern Beaches community means that this week one hundred pantry packs, eighty personal care ‘Dignity’ bags, seventy hot meals with dessert, fifty-five fresh fruit & veggie hampers, and seventy-six Christmas presents with hand-made cards holding messages of hope, will be delivered to residents in need on the Northern Beaches.

Community Co-op Northern Beaches is a collective of support organisations, completely run by volunteers, that has been providing food relief for disadvantaged communities of the Northern Beaches since Covid restrictions first came into place in March this year. Each week the Community Co-Op contributes to over 1,800 meals for disadvantaged, vulnerable and at risk residents of the Northern Beaches.

Today’s extra-special delivery of Christmas joy to 165 families could not be more timely given the anxiety and extra stress caused by the current lockdown.  The Co-op will not only be delivering their usual weekly fresh fruit & veggie hampers and hot meals, but also a range of wonderful gifts donated by Pittwater RSL’s Christmas Giving Tree plus eighty beautiful handbags filled with personal care items donated by Share the Dignity.  One hundred pantry staples boxes have also been made possible by community donations of non-perishable items through the Co-Op’s  #showusyourcans initiative. And to top it off, today’s special deliveries will be decorated with beautiful hand-made cards holding messages of hope from the Beacon Hill Girl Guides.

According to Community Co-Op Coordinator Mr Kim Williams, “the need for support services continues to grow. Going without proper food is one of the first things to go when people are struggling – it is the invisible cost of crisis, and many people are embarrassed to seek help. The relief and gratitude we see for our service confirms the critical and positive difference it makes to their lives.”

The Community Co-Op’s clientele include social service referrals for mental health issues, disability support, families affected by domestic violence, women’s shelters, foster and respite care families, veterans, families affected by drug and alcohol issues, support for social housing tenants and more recently, families struggling with loss of work/income due to Covid-19.

The Co-Op works collaboratively with a number of Northern Beaches social service agencies including Bridge Housing, Burdekin Association, Street Mission, Mission Australia (Ebbs House, Manly), Catholic Care, Manly Women’s Shelter, Bringa Refuge, Lions Club, Pittwater Uniting Church, the Tibetan Society, as well as Community Care Northern Beaches and Community Northern Beaches.

 
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