Loaves and Fishes family food hampers are bringing huge relief to Aboriginal families doing it tough in the State’s south.

“The hampers mean a family can afford to pay for power, buy their children a pair of shoes, purchase other necessities or generally stay on top of bills” said Laura Knowles, family and children’s worker at the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre in Hobart.

“The pre-made frozen meals make a massive difference when you have six kids to care for. It’s a huge relief for parents or carers to not have to worry about what to cook for a few days.

“The other thing that’s awesome is the pet food you provide to feed the animals who are an important part of the family.”

Family hampers hit the spot

The centre orders about 16 hampers a month, collecting the made-to-order packs the next day from the Loaves and Fishes warehouse in Glenorchy. Hampers comprise fresh fruit and vegetables, staple such as milk, cereal and bread, heat-and-eat frozen meals and pet food.

“Clients range from a single mum who struggles with a bunch of kids, carers who have their own children and other mouths to feed, and community elders who can’t get to the shops, or, during COVID, did not want to risk going to the supermarket,” Laura said.

“Most of the families we deliver to are in the Bridgewater and Rokeby areas, although we also deliver to Glenorchy, Brighton, Lutana and Kingston.

“The thing we love about Loaves and Fishes is that the staff are so friendly, helpful and flexible. There have been times when they have made up a hamper on the spot in response to a crisis.”

Loaves and Fishes works in partnership with more than 220 community partners State-wide.

Photos: Hobart warehouse manager, Oswald Schneider, with a made-to-order family food hamper.

Laura Knowles (left) with pregnancy support worker Jess Matthews.

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