For the cost of a takeaway coffee, people fortunate to be able to work from home can help put food on the tables of Canberra families hit hardest by COVID-19 lockdowns.
The founder of Woden Community Service’s The Little Pantry, Shannon Wood, says a donation of just $5 is enough for the support organisation to buy a packet of pasta, a bottle of pasta sauce and a litre of long-life milk for a struggling family.
While generous shoppers usually support The Little Pantry by dropping off non-perishable food items, COVID-19 restrictions have put a hold on physical donations so Woden Community Service has launched an online donation portal as an alternative.
Shannon says the portal offers an easy way for individuals, businesses and organisations to continue supporting The Little Pantry during a time when it is needed most.
She says people who are lucky enough to still be working could consider “getting into the spirit of giving” by donating what they would normally spend on takeaway lunches or coffee.
“No amount is too small,” says Shannon. “Even $5 will help someone else feed their kids.”
Canberrans can also order a Woolworths online shop and have it delivered to the Woden Community Service office at 26 Corinna Street, Woden, to help keep the pantry stocked.
“We need things such as pasta, cereal, canned vegetables and fruit,” says Shannon. “With kids home schooling, snacks such as fruit cups and muesli bars are also great.”
People can call Woden Community Service to find out what is most needed before doing their online shop.
The Little Pantry team is working hard to assist individuals, couples, families and elderly residents impacted or isolated by COVID-19.
Families who have had their incomes cut are doing it tough, especially if they have children at home.
“People with younger kids who usually attend day care are having to fork out more for nappies and wipes, while those with older kids are finding it hard keeping the snacks up to them,” says Shannon.
“It’s a really crucial time for people to donate what they can.”
Food packages are made up by The Little Pantry team and can be collected from the Woden Community Service office.
HelpingACT has also partnered with Woden Community Service to deliver food packages around Canberra to people in need who can’t collect the hampers themselves.
Shannon has been nominated as a Westfield Local Hero for her work establishing The Little Pantry and all she has done for the community in the past five years.
She says while it takes a whole team to run the pantry, she is appreciative of the nomination and hopes to win the $10,000 cash prize.
“I think I will cry if I win – I could stock the pantry for two years,” says Shannon.
Credit card donations can be made via Woden Community Service, or by calling 02 6282 2644 between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm Monday to Friday to organise an emergency relief pack.