When Tania Rakchaev became a mum she saw just how important community was.

“Being part of a community is vital, especially when you’re a young parent, a senior, or new to the country,” she says.

“After I had my son (who’s now two), I became more interested in work that was more community oriented because I could see the difference it makes.”

So when she heard about a new role coordinating South Eastern Community Connect’s food services program, she jumped at the chance to apply.

A foodie at heart

Tania also serves on the board at a food co-op in Randwick, and used to be a restaurant manager and sommelier.

Food is in her blood – and she loves the fact her new role of Food Services Coordinator gives her the chance to support the community in a practical way.

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.

Tania, who joined the SECC team this month, plans and purchases the seasonal produce we need for the boxes, which head out to residents across South East Sydney and the Inner West every Tuesday and Thursday.

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

The difference a box makes

One recipient, Hillary Cartwright, says the boxes make a big difference to her life.

“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.”

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 or email Tania at foodservices@secc.sydney.

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