With demand for food relief higher than ever, OzHarvest WA has introduced a new program to support school communities across Perth with much needed food relief. The Nourishing our Schools program provides two different Food Essentials Boxes packed with pantry staples and fresh produce, which are distributed to vulnerable families within the school community, as well as outreach breakfast, lunch and sport programs.
Jennifer Keen, OzHarvest WA State Manager, explains the importance of supporting children and families in need throughout Perth. “There’s no doubt that the past year has been extremely difficult with so many new people relying on food relief for the first time in their lives. We wanted to ensure that families throughout the region felt supported – no child should have to go to school hungry.”
“We created two food boxes to support children at school and their families at home; the Community Essentials Box for vulnerable families in the school community to provide food relief at home and the School Essentials Box for students in need of food at school. Our team works closely with the school, offering a minimum of two boxes with around 20 kilograms of food each week.”
Schools can receive up to 100 Community Boxes over a year to distribute to families as needed, and OzHarvest aims to meet diverse cultural and dietary needs.
Sylvia Spatara, Youth Care Chaplain at Bambara Primary School, said the program has provided much needed relief to families within her community. “One of our young Mums here was raised in a number of foster homes and was made a ward of the state. She has gone on to raise four children of her own and was recently accredited to be a social worker. She is a recipient of OzHarvest’s great hampers each week and is very grateful, as all the families are. The hampers are just another blessing of relieving the burdens of everyday life.”
The Nourishing Our Schools Program is thanks to the incredible support and funding from the Channel 7 Telethon Trust, which has enabled OzHarvest WA to support countless children and their families throughout Perth.