Kirralee has been receiving food assistance from the SouthernCare Pantry Club for over a year, from which the food is supplied by Foodbank NSW & ACT. Here is her story from homelessness to hope and how the food you help us provide is making a huge difference…
At the start of 2015, my ex-partner and I went to SouthernLife church in Moruya for help with washing. At the time, we were homeless, living in a tent in the bush, in terrible living conditions to say the least. Before that we had lived in a car for 4 years and I was severely depressed and suffered terrible anxiety.
SouthernCare Community Aid helped us in many ways. First they allowed us to use a shower on their property, helped us with some petrol and introduced us to SouthernCare Pantry Club for food. Later they also assisted with temporary housing and lastly helped us secure more permanent housing. This all happened very quickly and despite the fact we had no money.
As we got on our feet, I registered as a member of Pantry Club. However in the following weeks I separated from my partner after experiencing domestic violence for more than 3 years. My partner beat me so severely that I ended up very ill and in a catatonic state. During this time, everyone at Pantry Club still accepted me with love and dignity and helped me to maintain as normal an existence as possible.
Being a Pantry Club member was easier for me to cope with rather than going to shopping centres. I felt safe and at ease there. Pantry Club provide tea and coffee, sandwiches and cakes and I could sit and read the newspaper or magazines and socialise in a relaxed atmosphere.
They have cooking demonstrations which I find very helpful and the ingredients they use can be found at Pantry Club. And at Christmas time, Pantry Club also helped its members with Christmas hampers.
SouthernLife Church, where I now attend, introduced me to a lady from their church Jen, who has nursed me back to health and has accepted me into her home. This is the first ‘real’ home I have had for nearly 5 years.
I have a new family through my church, new friends and the Lord Jesus, who I love very much. I’ve seen so many people’s lives changed through SouthernLife Church and SouthernCare Pantry Club. I am recovering well now and one day I would like to become a volunteer at Pantry Club serving tea and coffee, move out into my own flat and start a new life with my friends and family supporting me.
Thanks to the gifts of friends like you, Foodbank is able to partner with and provide food to Pantry Clubs all over Australia and help give a hand up to people like Kirralee. If you would like to continue to provide nourishment to more people like Kirralee please make a donation to Foodbank NSW & ACT here.