For many local families, putting food on the table is a daily stress and challenge. But one local charity, Hand in Hand Community Project Moreton Shire (Hand in Hand), is working hard to change this reality.
Over the past four years, Nellie Waldron and her volunteer team at Hand in Hand have created thousands of free hampers for locals in need of financial support. They partner with charities such as OzHarvest and SecondBite to ensure everyone has access to fresh, healthy produce. EPIC Assist (EPIC) is proud to help Hand in Hand carry out their valuable mission by awarding a community grant.
Nelli says Hand in Hand was born when a group of people shared a vision for their community.
“The Hand in Hand Project was founded by a group of people from different backgrounds working ‘hand in hand’ to help uplift those struggling to put food on the table,” says Nellie.
“We have around 50-60 free food hampers available every Thursday, plus a variety of extras, such as toiletries, meat, and dairy, for only a $10 donation.”
Hand in Hand is passionate about creating strong communities where everyone is welcome, regardless of their background and circumstances. They support people from all walks of life – young families, pensioners, and people with disability, all of whom are struggling to make ends meet.
At Hand in Hand, many hands make light work. Every week, a small but mighty network of local volunteers band together to help make a difference in the community. They dedicate their Wednesday nights and Thursday mornings to packing and handing out free fruit, vegetables, bread, and milk to those in need.
“Our community impact and volunteer base are growing each week. Our crew endeavours to put together the best ‘recycled’ food box possible,” says Nelli.
Sadly, a decrease in many local services means Hand in Hand is in higher demand than ever before. Most weeks, there are not enough hampers for the masses, and unfortunately volunteers have to turn people away. For this reason, the team operates on a ‘first in, first served’ basis.
Surviving off weekly donations, financial support from local organisations like EPIC is essential to the organisation’s ongoing sustainability.
In addition to providing food to the community, Nelli says Hand in Hand is also a place where people can access hope and help from people who care. She is proud of the difference Hand in Hand has made to those in need of a shoulder to lean on.
“Every day we make choices. Hand in Hand chooses to make a difference in our family, our community, and our world by serving one another,” says Nelli.
Check out the Hand in Hand Community Project Facebook page for more information on this program, and the EPIC Assist website to find out more on financial support and see the full list of community grant recipients.