Why you should become a food bank partner

Food bank after a big grocerty shop by asylum seekers

“The JRS foodbank is an essential service for our most vulnerable clients living below the poverty line.” 

Fleeing a home that is no longer safe is one of the most difficult decisions a person can make. It’s one made that much harder when you are forced to live below the poverty line in a country you wish to make your home. Unfortunately it’s a reality facing many seeking asylum in Australia—people who often find it difficult to afford basic food goods and groceries.

That’s where JRS come in.

Our foodbank provides much needed fresh food and groceries to over 250 individuals and families every month.

But we need your help

JRS is looking for partnering schools, churches or community groups to help co-ordinate donations of non-perishable food items, toiletries and other groceries. We are also looking for partners willing to provide financial contributions to help supply our foodbank.

“The JRS foodbank is an essential service for our most vulnerable clients living below the poverty line,” said JRS Community Development and Schools Engagement Office, Matthew Potts. “For some, foodbank supplements their existing shopping so they can feed their families. It gives people an opportunity to save a bit more of their limited income so they can cover equally important costs such as medical bills, rent or other essential expenses that people will otherwise struggle to cover. For others with no income, foodbank provides them critically important access to food aid during times of crisis.”

Foodbank is not your usual food donation service. At JRS we don’t make hampers for our clients, but rather allow them to choose their own groceries. We stock our shelves and our fridge like a supermarket, meaning people are able to do their own ‘shopping’.

This grocery store set up is beneficial in that:

  • It allows people to choose their groceries giving them autonomy over their own decisions. For people seeking asylum their lives can often seem chaotic and ruled by the decisions of others, especially while they are on temporary visas, awaiting refugee status.
  • Secondly it allows people to feel more at home by being able to choose items they can use to cook traditional cuisine.
  • Thirdly and probably most importantly, people accessing the foodbank program are able to come to our drop in centre, meeting and forming meaningful relationships with volunteers, staff members and other people in similar situations to themselves.

At the moment, items JRS needs in order to stock our shelves include food such as:

  • Basmati Rice
  • Pasta- Spaghetti or Penne
  • Cooking Oil (Olive, Vegetable etc) – 500ml,or 1L
  • Instant Noodles
  • Long life UHT milk ( 1L)
  • Tinned Tuna ( smaller tins preferred)
  • Tinned Fruit
  • Tinned Corn
  • Tinned Vegetables
  • Tinned Chickpeas
  • Red Kidney beans
  • Dried lentils
  • Black and green tea bags
  • Instant Coffee
  • Biscuits
  • Curry powder and spices
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Flour

We also need toiletries including:

  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrushes
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Sanitary pads or napkins
  • Razors and Shaving Foam
  • Deodorant
  • Soap

Alternatively Coles or Woolworths vouchers can also be donated ($20 vouchers preferred).

If you would like to become a foodbank partner and assist people seeking asylum, please get in touch with Matthew Potts on 02 9098 9336 or email him at matthew.potts@jrs.org.au

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