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Community unites to feed the needy

Posted: 4pm 03 Jun 2020

The team at Youth Development Foundation (YDF) and their supporters have hit the kitchen and the road to deliver more than 250 meals a week to the needy.

YDF is a not-for-profit community organisation dedicated to helping disadvantaged and disengaged members of our community, primarily young people aged 15-24 years.

Director Gerry Blackwell says YDF’s trainees have been preparing meals in their Street Café kitchen at Strathpine, supporters have been donating money and ingredients to make the meals and the team has been delivering them on a Friday from Kallangur to Bribie Island and everywhere in between.

It's done in partnership with Mindle Bygul Aboriginal Corporation, which refers families needing assistance, and has been happening for more than six weeks.

Gerry says it costs about $750 a week to buy ingredients and pay for the fuel to deliver meals.

Community rallies

Through the generosity of Help Employment and Training and a personal donation of $1000 from CEO Greg Luck, more than 400 meals will be provided to indigenous families in need across the Moreton Bay Region in the next couple of weeks.

The Federal Government’s Job Keeper scheme is paying for the organisation’s 12 trainees and they’re using a black bus bought with a grant from the State Government’s Gambling Community Benefit fund to deliver the food.

It follows support from a broad range of groups and individuals in the past few months including Moreton Bay Regional Council; GIVIT; Mindle Bygul Aboriginal Corporation; Purcells Meats; Coles Caboolture and Strathpine; Bunnings Brendale; WISE Employment; Woolworths Strathpine, Warner, Kallangur, Morayfield, Burpengary, Bribie, Banksia Beach, Caboolture and Petrie; Aldi Bribie and Strathpine; Sid Doyle; Anglicare Caboolture; and local politicians Peter Dutton, Terry Young, Steven Miles, Nikki Boyd, Mark Ryan, Simone Wilson, Mark Furner and Shane King.

COVID-19 prompts spike in need

Gerry says demand has been high during the COVID-19 crisis and a range of agencies have pulled together to help those who need it.

Mindle Bygul Aboriginal Corporation has been helping with other issues such as housing and financial assistance, advocacy, family support, trauma and recovery counselling, parenting, cultural literacy and more.

Aboriginal Employment Strategy (AES) is helping aboriginal people secure work, while Moreton Bay Regional Council’s Indigenous Liaison officer is working with communities to find out what they need.

Gerry and her team are making connections with people outside of the usual sterile office environment – at the Street Café, often referring them to services that can help, if they can’t.

“I’ll have a cup of coffee with people outside and talk about what they need,” Gerry says.

Making a difference

Gerry says people receiving food assistance feel relieved, happy, positive, hopeful and less stressed.

“They report both the immediate benefits of feeling less hungry and longer-term benefits such as improved physical health, being able to plan for the future and feeling able to look for work or get a job,” she says.

Involving young people in this and other YDF programs also has its benefits such as;

  • Increased engagement and retention in education, training and employment
  • Reduced crime rates
  • Increased community awareness
  • Better communication between government and non-government agencies
  • More accountability of the young person’s actions
  • Improved self-worth and skills base
  • Structure and guidance in an inclusive and non-judgmental environment

To find out more about YDF, visit the website or Facebook page.

Want to know how you can support businesses and the community? Head to our blog.

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