Food Ladder has partnered with Australia's largest food relief organisation Foodbank to provide hampers to job seekers.
The hampers are packed with everyday dry goods like cereal, rice and milk to tackle food insecurities felt by too many in Katherine.
“In the current hamper there is a big box of Weet-bix, milk, coffee, sugar, tinned baked beans, two-minute noodles, 500g of rice. You could have breakfast for at least a week,” Food Ladder’s horticultural and food trainer Scott McDonald said.
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The hampers, to be delivered on a monthly basis to those most in need, will supplement the fresh produce grown at Food Ladder in Katherine.
“Food Ladder has a focus on food security, too often we have people who don’t have anything to eat reaching out to us. Instead of handing out a food voucher they will get a hamper,” Mr McDonald said.
The first load of hampers were rolled out last week, assisting 12 people and their families.
With partner organisation, Rise Ventures, Work for the Dole participants identified as most in need will have access to the hampers.
Participants currently working at Food Ladder were among some of the first to receive the bag of goods.
“Foodbank has a store in Darwin where I can wonder around the shelves and pick up what we need, bring them [to Katherine] and make them into hampers to distribute,” Mr McDonald said.
“We will be using the profits we make from the fresh food we sell at Food Ladder to invest in food parcels for job seekers,” he said.
Foodbank collects food from supermarkets and distributes out to charities. The organisation was previously in Katherine supplying school breakfasts – up until government funding dried up.
“Foodbank had a great presence in Katherine when it was supplying food for the school breakfast program, but we havn’t seen much since,” Mr McDonald said.
“This is a way to get Foodbank back in Katherine to assist people of a lower socioeconomic background.
“Foodbank wants a bigger presence in Katherine. We hope there will be more interest from other charities to partner up with the organisation and if that happens, they might start a monthly delivery to Katherine or even open a store,” he said.
Mr McDonald said he aims to include personal items in future hampers, as these products are expensive.
To help the cause, donated food items can be dropped off at Food Ladder or Foodbank, in Darwin.
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