Many hands make light work, but they can also make a lot of meals, which is why YMCA Canberra Region teamed up with other Canberra businesses and not-for-profit organisations to deliver 280 meals to families in need in the past week.
Now the group – which includes the helping hands of Canberra PCYC, Walt & Burley and No Biggie Meals – wants to triple this amount and deliver more than 800 meals and craft activity packs to young people and families who are struggling during Canberra’s extended COVID-19 lockdown.
YMCA Canberra Region has kept its doors open as much as possible since the current lockdown began in mid-August to provide essential services such as after-hours school care and early learning programs. But the organisation’s accommodation services and health and recreation programs are closed.
YMCA Canberra Region CEO Torrien Lau said while Canberra remains in lockdown, the organisation has been looking at different ways to assist vulnerable Canberrans.
He said delivering the meals and activity packs has also meant staff feel they are contributing in a more meaningful way.
“[It is] a great outcome for the community,” said Mr Lau. “The YMCA Canberra is passionate and invested in supporting our community, particularly our youth.
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“We know that young people are the ones this latest COVID-19 outbreak is affecting, whether that is through the risk of the Delta variant, job losses, or blows to emotional, physical and financial wellbeing.”
Walt & Burley and No Biggie Meals are contributing $5 per meal and the YMCA puts in $7 per meal. But generous Canberrans are able to donate $7 and pay the meal forward to help cover the costs.
The group joins a number of people who have stepped up during the current COVID-19 outbreak to help struggling Canberrans through the lockdown, including Garry Malhotra and his family who are cooking thousands of meals every day to deliver to people who might otherwise go without due to COVID-19 restrictions or financial hardship.
A team of up to 15 cooks are in Mr Malhotra’s kitchen between 6:00 am and 8:00 pm every day to ensure no Canberran is left hungry during this lockdown.
If you would like to help, you can donate a meal for $7 at No Biggie Meals.
To order emergency food and essential items, call VolunteeringACT on 1800 431 133 between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm. If the phone is not answered, leave a message and someone will return your call.