The People's Pantry

The People’s Pantry

The People’s Pantry exists to support locals facing food insecurity.

Our grassroots food relief program runs out of SECC’s Community Hub in Mascot, and is fuelled by donations from our community.

Our kitchen cabinets are stocked with pantry and baby items provided by locals, for locals. 

The People’s Pantry was established in June 2019 when a particularly tough winter saw many south-east Sydney residents asking us for help. 

We put out a call for help with food donations, and the response was overwhelming. Since then, the need has only gotten greater.

COVID-19, and its flow on effects, have changed the face of food insecurity in Australia, according to Foodbank.

Those who were already struggling before coronavirus hit have felt the effects more quickly and more seriously.

Prior to COVID-19, the main groups accessing food relief were families living on a low income, the unemployed, single-parent families, the homeless and people with mental illness.

Since March 2020, some of these groups have become even more vulnerable and are needing to access food relief more often.

Young Australians are much more likely to be doing it tough as a result of COVID-19, with international students and asylum seekers among the worst hit. Many have lost their source of income or had their income reduced, according to the Australian Government Productivity Commission, July 2020.

Many charities, such as South Eastern Community Connect (SECC), have seen a significant increase in the frequency of demand for food relief. In 2019, 15% of Australians experiencing food insecurity were seeking food relief at least once a week. In 2020, this doubled to 31%. And the numbers have continued to climb in the pandemic crisis of 2021.

While our biggest concerns at present are combating food insecurity, isolation and the mental health impact of the pandemic are even bigger problems. 

The beauty of our community centre is that locals who are struggling can make appointments to pick up the food they need and find out more about our other community programs and services

Currently, we’re assisting over 100 households and have a rapidly increasing weekly demand. Clients also have access to The People’s Closet, which supplies them with free clothing and haberdashery.  

Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, The People’s Pantry is by appointment only.

Do you need food support?

Appointments can be scheduled during the following days and times.

  • Wednesday 1:00pm – 4:00pm
  • Thursday 9:30am – 2:00pm
  • Friday 9:30am -12 noon

Bookings are essential and collection is completed with zero contact until restrictions ease.

Bookings can be made by contacting Emily on 0415 783 558.

Can you donate food? 

Donations of food are gratefully accepted between 9.30am and 2.30pm Monday to Friday. Many are choosing to make an online order via Coles or Woolworths and have them delivered to 1007 Botany Rd, Mascot during these hours. 

If you can donate non-perishable food supplies for local families, please email hubadmin@secc.sydney or call 0415 783 558.

If it’s easier to give financially, head to our donations page, or talk to us about pledging a monthly amount.

No donation is too small as many hands make light work.

Together we can combat food insecurity. 

You can follow The People’s Pantry on Instagram.

Media enquiries: Myfanwy Kernke – 0432 480 250

You can help create a better future for your community.

Donate to SECC today

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