Serving up vital community support to those in need

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In the picturesque town of Katoomba, nestled amidst the breathtaking beauty of a World Heritage site, the Seventh-day Adventist Church has been quietly making an impact in the local community. 

For the past five years, the church’s volunteer-operated food pantry has been a beacon of hope, providing essential sustenance and fostering a spirit of togetherness.

The church’s food pantry has been a lifeline for residents, offering much-needed support to those facing food insecurity. What sets this pantry apart is its commitment to providing fresh, vegetarian options to all who come seeking assistance. The pantry is run 100 per cent on donations and the work of volunteers. We have received no funding.

Every Tuesday morning, without the need for registration, locals are welcomed with open arms at the pantry. They not only receive vital food items but also a warm embrace from the dedicated volunteers who run the pantry. It’s not just about nourishing bodies; it’s about nurturing spirits and fostering a sense of belonging. A warm welcome and a warm drink are always provided to any who attend.

The Katoomba church also has an op-shop which started about 12 months after the food pantry. The church has been able to provide help to several homeless people who now have accommodation and were in need of household items. In 2022, the op-shop donated clothing and bedding to the flood victims in the Penrith-Hawkesbury area.

”I am very grateful to our church members who all got on board and supported the idea when Joycelyn Pickering first presented the idea back in 2017,” says Bronwyn Hurdle, one of the church board members. ”Our mission has always been about more than just distributing food; it’s about building relationships. We’re deeply grateful for the support of our volunteers and the generosity of our donors.”

As the pantry marks its five-year milestone, its impact is testament to the power of community, faith and the willingness to lend a helping hand to those in need.

Particular recognition goes to Deslie Jackson, Jan Carbury and Lyn Hedley (pictured above with Bronwyn) for keeping the food pantry open every week. The pantry would not operate without their dedication and faithfulness. We also acknowledge Beth Healy and Warrimoo church in the lower Blue Mountains for their support in this community project.

Bronwyn Hurdle writes from Katoomba, New South Wales.

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