Imagine not having a roof over your head, sleeping rough and not having enough to be able to prepare simple, nutritious meal.

Homelessness is not just an issue that exists in the big cities, there are individuals and families on the Coffs Coast who struggle every day to get by.

The Coffs Harbour Uniting Church Soup Kitchen is a beacon providing comfort and food to Coffs locals who need a helping hand, which is why Sawtell RSL Club are assisting the soup kitchen in ‘filling the pantry’ for a year with our Christmas Food Drive – and there is still time for you to get involved!

Until 17 December we are calling on the community to drop off non-perishables to our Reception collection area. The items are to be used for the 5 times per week meal service as well as crisis food packs for those who need a little extra.

Examples of items required include all canned meats (must have ring pull please), noodles, pasta, canned vegetables and fruit, sugar, flour, paper towel, sauces, and all non-perishables that can help make delicious, healthy meals for diners.

We visited the soup kitchen recently and met up with a few of the dedicated over 60 volunteers at their Gordon Street location in Coffs Harbour CBD.

Being in operation for over 27 years, the commitment and care these volunteers demonstrate every day when they provide this invaluable community is evident. We even met one volunteer Audrey who has been working in the kitchen since its first week 27 years ago! Far too modest to accept any praise, everyone at the soup kitchen acknowledges it’s the team effort that keeps this service going!

The kitchen prepares a changing menu, 5 days per week for around 60 diners per day, as well as providing crisis packs for people who need a little extra to take with them. The service relies entirely upon donations receiving food from Oz Harvest, local suppliers including bakeries (Bananacoast Hot Bake, Bakers Delight, K’Pane,), individuals and businesses in the community who have excess produce, as well as cash donations from individuals and businesses.

Whilst the support the kitchen receives is wonderful there is a pressure to make things go further and ration supplies.

At Sawtell RSL Club we are passionate about helping our local community. We are calling on our members, visitors and members of the public to help us in helping the soup kitchen this Christmas.

Thank you for your generosity! May you have a safe and happy Christmas.

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