Every week, about 70 boxes full of fruit and vegetables from our local supplier roll out of our premises and into homes that need them most.

Many seniors find it difficult to get to the shops on a regular basis due to physical challenges, so they’re a welcome reprieve.

But have you ever wondered who checks the orders are shipshape and heading out our doors according to plan?

The answer is Eliza Bortolotti, our new Food Services Program Administrator.

The lovely Eliza Bortolotti.

Eliza, who has degrees in Medical Science and Psychology, plans and purchases the seasonal produce we need for the boxes, which head out to residents across South East Sydney and the Inner West.

Our staff and volunteers are at the shops and on the road five days a week to ensure our clients’ kitchens are well-stocked, and Eliza makes sure it all goes according to plan.

Each box contains a recipe, sourced by Eliza, which uses the some of the produce in the boxes so recipients can have fun trying new things.

“I like cooking, but I’d never thought so much about how to make the most of fresh fruit and vegetables before starting this role,” she says.

“I’m enjoying the creativity of putting together new boxes each week and thinking through ways clients can use the produce.

“It helps bring cooking and eating into a practical headspace.”

Eliza loves the satisfaction she gets from helping people who may not normally have access to a ready-made box of hand-selected fruit and vegetables.

“I’ve had lots of positive feedback about the difference it makes,” she says.

This has certainly been the case for one recipient, Hillary Cartwright.

“They’ve been incredibly valuable to me because my ability to go to the shops and carry large amounts of food is limited,” Hillary says.

“The boxes also give variety to my diet that I might not get myself – plus, there’s amazing power in plants as they aid in health and recovery.”

One of our volunteers helping to prepare the boxes in our Eastlakes warehouse.

Woolloomooloo resident Vicky Jones also enjoys the service provided to her every fortnight.

“Due to a shoulder injury I’m unable to carry many groceries at a time, so it really helps me to have the South Eastern Community Connect workers bring the boxes of fruit and vegetables in and place them on my bench for me.

“I’m doing it tough, living on a small pension and trying to make ends meet with multiple health concerns, so the boxes make a difference to me.”

What we offer

South Eastern Community Connect offers a range of services to help make shopping and cooking easier. These include:

  • Fruit and veggie deliveries
  • A door-to-door shopping bus
  • One-to-one shopping with a support person
  • List-shopping
  • Meal preparation help in your home.

Each of these services are available at a subsidised rate.

Qualifying frail aged persons can request home delivery of fruit and vegetable boxes at a rate of $12.

Fruit and vegetable boxes are also available to individuals with a disability under 65, at a non-subsidised rate of $20.

If you are a new client we will conduct a brief assessment to determine your needs and find the best service for you.

To find out more please contact SECC on (02) 8338 8506.

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