VLI Community Service at ‘Our Community Pantry’ in Bargo

Recently, VLI have had the privilege of getting involved with ‘Our Community Pantry’ in Bargo. This community service project was a real honour to be part of, and something that was truly eye-opening for those that were able to participate.

If you’re not aware of who the “Our Community Pantry” people are and what they do, they’re a food rescue supermarket based in Bargo, NSW. They currently have over 1300 members, and offer delicious, affordable food to their membership base. This food would otherwise have ended up in landfill. This is a service of great importance to families who are doing it tough and struggling with everyday living expenses. As there are no strict eligibility requirements, the Community Pantry is able to be of assistance to families long before they hit the point of real crisis.

In a statement made by Our Community Pantry, they described their mission as, “One of our aims is to prevent struggling families falling into crisis situations. We hope that no child living in Australia should ever go hungry, or suffer from the emotional scars that are the result from watching their parents struggle to put food on the table. It is our firm belief that if you don’t have 6 months of your salary in a savings account, you should be shopping with us. “

In addition to helping local families afford nutritious food, their work is also preventing about 8 tonnes of food from ending up in landfill each week. The waste from Our Community Pantry goes to a local farmer who has been affected by the drought, in effort to help feed his livestock. This also prevents greenhouse gas emissions by 15,200 CO2-e every week.

For two weeks, some of the VLI team were on location in Bargo, helping out with various projects including building a cool room, fencing for a new chicken coop, working in the gardens, replacing the roof over a back verandah and constructing a new ramp for disabled members to give them better access. This has allowed the Community Pantry to open another shopping session for customers, doubling their ability to help and reach families in need.

Of the time spent with the Community Pantry, VLI Driller, Ben Slattery has said, “I personally found this to be a very humbling and rewarding experience to know that we are able to have such a direct impact into putting food in people’s mouths.

I also had the opportunity to travel to the central warehouse in Sydney where all the food that Woolworths knocks back goes to and it blew my mind to see a whole building full of food that would otherwise get put into landfill.”

We are very grateful for the VLI team members involved in this community service project and to have had the opportunity, as a business, to support such a worthy cause. Keep up the good work Our Community Pantry.

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