A Childers church with a modest congregation is making a meaningful impact by sustaining local families through its Community Food Bank outreach program.
Anywhere up to 20 households per week around the Childers area are seeking assistance through the Food Bank program.
Hope Community Church Childers, which utilises the Apple Tree Creek Memorial Hall as its place of worship, ensures its ministry extends outside the walls of the hall.
The church supports a program which provides food hampers to assist community members who may find themselves in difficult circumstances.
Congregation member Troy Munro said the current COVID-19 pandemic had prompted members of the church to put into action a plan they had spoken about for a period of time.
He said the initiative involved not only supplying cheap groceries but also provided an environment where people were encouraged to visit, have a coffee and perhaps a chat.
“This can lead to referrals to other organisations if we feel there is a need,” he said.
While the “very generous” food hampers are priced at $20, Troy said assessment of individual circumstances can result in hampers being gifted.
“The $20 contribution we request assists us with the cost of fuel in gathering the food from various locations as well as the cost associated with running our fridges,” Troy said.
“Our food is purchased through organisations like Food Bank Queensland as well as fruit and vegetables generously donated by local suppliers.”
Hampers generally comprise a mixture of refrigerated items plus substantial quantities of canned products, spaghetti, rice, bread and eggs, fruit and vegetables, school snacks, jams, and spreads.
“We have even been supplying products to one of the school chaplains so he can either pass it on to the principal for distribution or use it for their breakfast clubs,” Troy said.
“We did source a substantial donation of product from the Queensland Government in relation to the pandemic and from that we were able to distribute 120 hampers over a three-week period within the local community.
“Our program comes under the umbrella of Global Care. That's the relief arm of the International Network of Churches of which Hope Community Church is a part. As their motto states, it’s about ‘mates helping mates'.”
Senior Pastors Nigel and Jo Allwood lead Hope Community Church.
For the past 16 years the couple have owned and operated Isis Bikes, a local motorcycle sales and repair shop.
Nigel is delighted that the Apple Tree Creek Memorial Hall is the home of the church.
“It is a place of such history. We respect that history and the renovations and improvements we undertake always have that respect in mind,” Nigel said.
“We are currently looking to air-condition the building and install a solar system.
“The church is always looking for ways to serve and support what is a great local community,” he said.
Service time at Hope Community Church Childers is Sundays from 9.30am. More information can be found at www.hopeinc.org.au or phone 0432 604 103.
The Hope Community Food Bank operates on Saturday mornings from 8.30 to 10.30am. Phone 0497 826 509 for further information.