Gunnedah opens first food pantry

Church members Carolyn Marquett and Maree Roach volunteer at the food pantry in Gunnedah. Photo: Namoi Valley Independent

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A food pantry has opened in the NSW inland town of Gunnedah to provide a resource for families struggling financially.

A ministry of the Gunnedah Seventh-day Adventist Church, the Food Pantry is aligned with Foodbank Australia to sell products that are out of specification, close to their use-by dates, have incorrect labelling or damaged packaging, as well as excess stock and deleted lines.

The service has been open on Wednesdays between 10am and 1pm for a number of weeks and sells non-perishable items at discounted prices, such as canned vegetables and fruit, biscuits, chips, sweets, home care products, baby formula and nappies. Some fresh fruit and vegetables are also available.

The shelves are restocked weekly and people have been lined up at the door at opening since the pantry’s inception. Church volunteer Maree Roach said Foodbank Australia distributes surplus food from supermarkets to charities and community groups across Australia to support families and individuals in need.

“Our churches in Coonabarabran and Quirindi have been running food pantries and we saw a need for it in Gunnedah,” said Mrs Roach. “It is run and managed by church volunteers and is targeted at people struggling financially.”

Without Foodbank accessing this food, most of it would go to landfill.

“We are able to sell the items at greatly reduced prices,” said Mrs Roach. “People are able to save money on food and put it towards ever-increasing electricity prices or other bills.”

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