Jon and Jacki Larsen from Oasis Life Church.
Jon and Jacki Larsen from Oasis Life Church. Contributed

Feeding the hungry

THE town of Moranbah is working hard to help the hungry this winter with a co-ordinated program set up between Oasis Life Church, supermarket chain Coles and national charity organisation SecondBite which redistributes surplus fresh food to those in need.

Over the past 12 months, Coles at Emerald and Moranbah have donated more than 8700 kilograms of surplus fresh food to SecondBite to redistribute to three local charities, including Oasis Life Church, which provides food for emergency relief plus a breakfast program for Moranbah schools.

Oasis Life Church pastor Jacki Larsen said SecondBite had been working with Coles to give the church food including bread and fruit and vegetables that they were not going to sell.

Mrs Larsen, who has lived in Moranbah for four years and took over running the church with her husband Jon at the start of this year, said they are also working on plans to open a facility in town that would allow them to provide more food and general support to locals.

"Currently we supply people with enough food for one night, or whatever their circumstances are,” she said.

"If they continue to come back, we sit down and offer budgeting services or any other help, so we are also teaching people.”

SecondBite Regional Logistics and Operations Manger for Queensland and NSW Daniel Arklay said conservative estimates reported two million Australians could not afford enough food to feed themselves or their families, and a quarter of those affected were children.

"It's all about community. The communities just want to get involved. They want to help people that they know. A lot of people just don't know what they can do to help.”

As well as the redistribution of food, Oasis Life Church has been setting up a breakfast program which provides cereal and toast to children in each of the area's three schools.

As part of its ongoing campaign, Coles is continuing to collect funds for SecondBite through its $2 donation cards which can be bought at the supermarket until August 8.

For every $2 donation card bought, SecondBite can provide the equivalent of eight healthy meals to Australians in need.


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