Locals asked to dig deep for Christmas appeal

Published 5:00am 3 November 2023

Locals asked to dig deep for Christmas appeal
Words by Ashleigh Howarth

Moreton Bay locals are being encouraged to pick up a few extra non-perishable food items at the supermarket between now and Christmas to help those who are doing it tough this year.

With more people struggling to make ends meet due to the cost-of-living crisis, representatives from the Redcliffe Community Care Network are asking residents to share their Christmas spirit with the less fortunate by donating to the annual Community Christmas Appeal.

The Redcliffe Community Care Network, which is made up of several services including The Breakfast Club, The Salvation Army, Encircle, Redcliffe Uniting Church, City of Moreton Bay, Band of Brothers, Redcliffe Mums Inc, Emerge Church and Peace Christian Church, distribute food hampers and gifts to people who might otherwise go without during the festive season.

With more people than ever reaching out for help, Michelle Gilchrist from The Breakfast Club is hoping schools, businesses and sporting clubs will come on board to help.

“Last year we made roughly 400 hampers, but I am anticipating we will need to have enough food for at least 500 hampers this year, probably even more,” Michelle says.

“This has been a really hard year for a lot of people, and I don’t think it is going to get any better.

“People are struggling due to the interest rate rises, the cost of fuel and grocery prices. What you could buy for $100 at the supermarket last year isn’t nearly as half as much as what you would get this year.”

Non-perishable items that can be donated include tinned stews and soup, tinned fruit and vegetables, cereal, pasta, pasta sauce, rice, long life milk, long life custard, spreads like Vegemite, peanut butter and jam, pancake mix, cake mixes, jellies, cordial, biscuits, soft drinks, nuts, lollies, chips and mince puddings.

“These are all items that will allow individuals and families to enjoy a lovely meal on Christmas Day, as well as have enough food for the days before and days after,” Michelle explains.

“It doesn’t matter if you personally can only donate a few things because everything that is donated will go to someone in need and ensure they have something to eat over the holidays.

“Given the amount of needy people this year, we do need those larger businesses and schools to come on board, that way everyone can donate a few items that will go towards to a larger collection.”

Donations can be dropped off at The Breakfast Club (34 Cornelius St, Clontarf) every Tuesday and Thursday between 9am-1.30pm, as well on Sundays from 3-5pm.

Donations can also be taken to The Salvation Army (64-72 Ashmole Rd, Kippa-Ring) every Tuesday and Friday between 9am-12pm.

All donations need to be dropped off before Wednesday, December 13.

Cash donations are also welcome with the bank details found in the image below.

BeefBank comes on board as a major sponsor

One organisation that has come on board to support the appeal this year is BeefBank – a charity established by the Rotary Club of Brisbane Centenary Inc.

BeefBank supports the homeless and disadvantaged by providing fresh meat to Foodbank Queensland. Foodbank then supply the many community and welfare organisations that are at the forefront of tackling these social issues.

“BeefBank is one of our major sponsors this year and will be donating mince to the appeal,” Michelle says.

“We are so thankful for their support.”

Toys for all ages

In addition to food items, people can also choose to donate toys, games and books that will be given to children who might otherwise have nothing to open on Christmas Day.

Donations are needed for both boys and girls aged from babies up to 18 years of age.

“We would like to ensure we can give a present to every child this year,” Michelle says.

“We do tend to get quite a few presents for the younger kids, but struggle with gifts for older kids in the 10-16 age bracket.”

Toys that are donated through the Kmart Wishing Tree will also be handed out as part of the appeal.

All toys will be handed out based on age appropriation.

Suggestions include LEGO kits, DIY craft kits, board games, puzzles and outdoor sporting equipment.

Wrapping paper and Christmas decorations are also appreciated, however all donated gifts need to be left unwrapped so they can be sorted into the various age groups.

Locals asked to dig deep for Christmas appeal

How to register for a hamper

Families who are in need of a food hamper this Christmas can register their interest via an online booking system through EventBrite.

Registrations open on November 15, and you can contact one of the organisations for details then.

Moreton Daily will also update you on how and when you can register later this month. 

“We are doing the registration process a little differently this year which will hopefully make it easier for everyone,” Michelle says.

“One hamper will be given per household, and you must reside on either the Redcliffe Peninsula or Rothwell.”

The hampers will then be distributed on December 18 and 19.

Volunteers to wrap presents at Peninsula Fair

Volunteers from The Breakfast Club and other organisations that make up the Redcliffe Community Care Network will be appearing at Peninsula Fair to wrap presents and collect non-perishable items from the community.

They will be there for four days from November 25-28, and you can find them outside Kmart.

All services now available at Cornelius Street

Earlier this year The Breakfast Club moved out of their home at Pensioners Hall (corner of Portwood St and Oxley Ave) while Council complete a multi-million dollar refurbishment of the site.

Once complete, the building will provide more space and amenities for The Breakfast Club to continue their vital work in supporting the community. There will be a new commercial kitchen complete with cold storage facilities, a dining room large enough to cater for 100 people, plus new offices, bathrooms, showers, laundry and locker facilities.

During this period, The Breakfast Club has been operating out the Clontarf Beach Community Hall in Cornelius Street.

Previously, a number of vital services that help the community like Orange Sky were run out of a different location, but Michelle would like to inform the community that all services are now available at the hall in Cornelius Street.

The Breakfast Club provides free community meals on Tuesday and Thursday from 4.30-5.30pm and breakfast on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 7-8am.

Emergency food parcels are available for those in need once a month on Tuesday and Thursday from 9am-12pm.

They are also open Tuesday and Thursday from 9am-1pm for people who are sleeping rough to come in and get supplies, charge their phone, receive information about local services, or just have a quiet place to sit.

Orange Sky is available every Thursday from 12.15-4pm.

The Breakfast Club also run an outreach program on Sunday and Wednesday nights between 5.30-7.30pm. Volunteers go out in a van to various points around the Redcliffe Peninsula to hand out drinks and food packs to those experiencing homelessness.

For more information, visit their website or Facebook page.

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