It’s easy to admire a young couple like April and Jesse. They could have just focused on work and raising their family. But when an opportunity came up to co-ordinate the Yarrabilba Community Pantry, April and husband Jesse both liked the idea.
The Yarrabilba Community Pantry began in 2019 and April took it over last December when the previous co-ordinator needed to hand it on. When asked why they do it, April says, “We know what it’s like to struggle”.
The pantry is a cupboard at the front of their house, with a roller door to keep out the rain. The pantry is open any time. April calls it a “zero judgement, free food service”, and she means that literally. They don’t mind why you need food, what time you come for it, or how much you take. Some people come at night to get food and that’s ok too. They just ask that people be respectful of their home and property when leaving donations or collecting food.
Much of the food is donated by residents of Yarrabilba. But others help too. Terry White Chemmart gave gift bags and vouchers, and Dunamis Church have donated an abundance of food. When April recently sent out a call for help on Facebook the manager of an Aldi store brought baby food, pasta sauce and other tinned goods.
Anyone can donate food or toiletries to the pantry, just leave your donations at the door and April or Jesse will put it on the shelves. The most popular items are breakfast cereals, long life milk, and snacks for school lunches, eg., muesli bars. Toilet paper has been popular as is toothpaste and sanitary pads. The items they get the most requests for are baby food and formula, but April says they rarely get donations of formula.
Having a food service at your front door may seem like a small way to help, but it meets one of our most basic needs, for affordable food. April and Jesse have stepped in to help those who can’t easily get the food they need. They are one of Yarrabilba’s inspiring families.
Check the Yarrabilba Community Pantry on Facebook to find out more, including the current location.
By Susan Alexander
(Inspirational Writer & Local Resident)