Council staff help ensure food security for city’s vulnerable
Published: 08 May 2020 12:12pm
Wagga Wagga City Council is working with local community service agencies to help ensure food security for those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Concerned by reports of agencies losing volunteers, Mayor of the City of Wagga Wagga Greg Conkey OAM and General Manager Peter Thompson held a series of meetings with agencies to determine how Council could assist.
“A food security program was the result of the meetings, after we forecasted the impacts of COVID-19 on vulnerable community members,” said Mr Thompson.
“We identified an opportunity to support the community with Council staff – currently unable to perform their usual roles – offering to work with agencies to help fill the labour void.”
Julie Logan, Manager of Wagga Wagga Meals on Wheels, said the assistance was timely.
"Many agencies like ours lost volunteers who needed to ensure they followed physical distancing recommendations due to their own safety or that of their family,” said Ms Logan.
“For the past five weeks Council staff have been doing our meal deliveries to people’s homes, and we have greatly appreciated the support."
Lynne Graham, Carevan’s Project Manager, has been responsible for helping Council staff settle into their new roles.
“Prior to COVID-19 we were able to provide a pop-up meal venue serving people in need, thanks to the help of our regular volunteers,” said Ms Graham.
“Now this model is no longer possible, we’re cooking meals supported by Council staff and local chefs from hotels and schools, and sending these meals to agencies and venues across the city."
“To date we have prepared over 1,600 meals and distributed multiple hampers of food.”
“I’m proud of Council staff for stepping up to help our incredible community service agencies during COVID-19 while our city’s dedicated volunteers are taking this enforced break," said Cr Conkey.
For more information on how to access assistance, visit wagga.nsw.gov.au/coronavirus or call 1800 2 WAGGA (1800 2 92442)
IMAGE: Carevan’s Project Manager Lynne Graham.