Sara*, an Eastlakes resident, came into our office this week asking for grocery support.

She has a four-month-old and a three-year-old and is struggling to put food on the table.

The rising costs of living, including electricity bills over winter, have left her depleted.

She just needed a few grocery items to get her through to the next week, as she’s struggling to buy even the basics such as Children’s Panadol and she’s too embarrassed to ask friends for a hand-up.

Food insecurity is a growing problem

Many low- to middle-income earners in Australia either experience food insecurity here and there – or on an ongoing basis.

According to a 2019 Monash University report, food shortages are caused by such things as:

• unexpected expenses;
• a change in working arrangements;
• illness or disability;
• increased housing costs; or
• changes in the number of people in the household.

Our heart for people

At South Eastern Community Connect we’re passionate about providing both practical and holistic support to people who are doing it tough.

Our support doesn’t end at a food parcel.

Nicola Powell from Bendigo Bank is spearheading the initiative to collect non-perishables at Clovelly Community Bank Branch on Clovelly Rd, Coogee.

Nicola Powell from Bendigo Bank is spearheading the initiative to collect non-perishables at Clovelly Community Bank Branch on Clovelly Rd, Coogee.


It begins with meeting an immediate need – such as food – and continues into our many services, which include:

Regular parenting courses such as Triple P and CPR training
• Youth services such as weekly tutoring and cooking groups
Flexible respite services for carers of people living with dementia
A Dementia Day Centre in Rushcutters Bay
Playgroups four days a week
Community transport services and social bus trips
Subsidised fruit and vegetable boxes for frail aged community members
Casework support for families in crisis.

The People’s Pantry is open

But you have to start at the beginning.

That’s why we’ve launched a campaign called The People’s Pantry, to provide much-needed supplies for people such as Sara who are facing food insecurity in our community.

This has been launched in response to a growing number of phone calls and visits to our offices requesting urgent food support in recent months.

The People’s Pantry is not just about providing for the community’s practical needs – but connecting people facing food insecurity with our other services.

If you would be willing to partner with us by providing donations of non-perishable goods over the next month, we would appreciate it greatly.

If collecting and delivering the food is too difficult, we are also receiving donations at

Give Alison a call on (02) 8338 8506 if you’d like to discuss the food drive further or email her on

Food drop-off points are:

  • Shop 84, Eastlakes Shopping Centre (under Centre Management) Evans Ave, Eastlakes
  • The SECC Community Hub – 1007 Botany Rd, Mascot (press the Community Hub buzzer and ask for Nicole)
  • Bendigo Bank 222-226 Clovelly Rd, Coogee (Clovelly Community Bank Branch)

These are our specific needs:

We need cereals (WeetBix and Cornflakes)
We need pasta, pasta sauce, canned baked beans and spaghetti
We need long life full cream milk, canned veggies and cling wrap
We need canned fruit and canned tuna

Thank you so much for being willing to express your love for your community in such a practical way.

* Name has been changed.

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