A local food aid initiative “The Hub Food Store” located in North Nowra is seeking extra funding from the Shoalhaven community.
The Hub has been in operation for eight years and sells fresh fruit & vegetables, cold & frozen foods, bread, chips, drinks, sweets, sauces, cans & a range of other food and household items at a discounted price.
Carol Krohn, Hub manager, was originally a volunteer and sought to assist those who were financially struggling “I hope to think that we have changed a lot of people’s lives; that we’ve helped a lot of people to get on their feet.”
As the Hub is a community organisation ran at the Nowra City Church by Global Care Australia, the initiative is in need of funding for further expansion “we try to advertise as much as possible but it’s expensive and when you’re doing it as a charity, it is very hard to get the funds to get it out there” Krohn said.
The Hub promotes a ‘Hand up not a handout’, and volunteers guide consumers to choose healthy products “We’re not here just to give people food and forget about them. We’re here to help them, to understand them, to give them advice when we can” Krohn said.
As one in two-hundred people in Australia are homeless and 17% of Shoalhaven residents live in poverty, the Hub Food Store also runs a Thursday night bus service that provides free food to those doing it tough.
Hub Food Store Volunteer Rob Stuckey operates the bus service that stops at the Bounty Motel, Nowra Showground and the Gateway Caravan Park “We might have a sausage sizzle, or hotdogs or pizza. We’ve got giveaways too, like bread and cold food.”
So that the bus service is able to provide free food, the Hub Food Store charges low prices “We get donations from different stores so we can actually give them away to people that are very needy. Even people that aren’t so needy, if they come and help us here by shopping, that actually helps us to be able to feed the ones that are needier still” Krohn explained.
Each week the food available varies and depends on donations given from Nowra/Greenwell point IGA and Woolworths “You can walk out of here with a box full of groceries” Stuckey said.
Recently, the hub has invested in a new trailer which will allow the volunteers to easily navigate across Nowra’s three locations “We got a new trailer for night time, that’s being built now, it can have hot water on it and it facilitates the BBQ”
The trailer will allow greater maneuverability in times of harsh weather and busy nights.
The health of consumers is a main priority of the hub, as optimum nutrition leads to a healthier community “We need to keep people healthy. I don’t think there was always this much poverty in Nowra” Stuckey said.
For more information contact the Church Office on 4421 4602
Opening hours: Thursday and Friday 9.30am – 12pm
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/sosfoodstore/?fref=ts