UPPER Hunter Community Services (UHCS) is calling on local residents to help fill its depleted pantry.
The organisation’s Emergency Relief Program assists those with immediate basic needs in times of crisis.
That’s everything from rice, pasta, spaghetti and lasagne to Weet-Bix and breakfast cereal; long-life milk and sugar to tinned goods and fruit; vegemite, jam, honey and peanut butter to simmer sauces and stir fries; and much more.
However, due to recent demand, the UHCS’ supplies have diminished rapidly, according to Jess Dallah.
“There is a big increase for emergency relief,” she said.
“In the past 11 months, we’ve assisted 906 people within the community – with 400 of those being new clients.
“We’ve seen a rise in males coming in, seeking help with food and accommodation, too.
“The Emergency Relief Program can be the first point of contact for community members in a crisis situation.
“From here, we can also assist with other support that may be required – whether it’s with UHCS or other organisations within the wider community.
“Sometimes, people need assistance through a life-changing event, illness, hardship or a change in circumstances.”
The Community Capacity Building Project, which is funded through BHP Billiton Mt Arthur Coal, initiated the “Travelling Trolley” to meet the upsurge in requests.
“The trolley is hosted by different organisations, with pantry items being donated,” Miss Dallah said.
“All donations are then made into food parcels, which are given away to those in an immediate crisis.
“The Traveling Trolley was kindly donated by Woolworths Muswellbrook.
“But, for the next two weeks, it will be housed at the Muswellbrook and District Workers Club.
“We’d like to reach out to the community and encourage donations of pantry items such as cereal, pasta and tinned spaghetti.
“We are extremely low in goods – and all supplies are greatly appreciated.
“We’d also like to thank the Muswellbrook and District Workers Club, who donated $500 to give the pantry an immediate stock up as we were completely out of food items.”
A full list of useful pantry items can be found on Upper Hunter Community Services’ Facebook page or website.