The response from the community after one week of the Saving Place Plaza opening has been immense.
No Kid Hungry AU chief executive Dave Davis said the past week has been very busy for the volunteers in the Food Hub and the plaza.
“We’ve had people coming into the plaza and purchasing heaps of items as well as members lining up outside for the Food Hub,” he said.
While the Food Hub is only for members who pay an annual fee, the plaza is open to the public, with all of the money made going towards purchasing food for the hub.
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“We’re looking at purchasing food to sell as well as the donated supplies, and we’ll be using the money made in the plaza to do that,” Mr Davis said.
“Locals can support the Food Hub by purchasing items in the plaza.”
All of the food in the Food Hub currently, is donated by the local Aldi, Woolworths and IGA West Kempsey.
Three young locals are also working in the plaza to learn retail skills and to further their work experience. Dave said their help and work ethic is outstanding.
“They’ve done so well this week, it’s been busy and they’re handling themselves very well,” he said.
The membership numbers have also increased over the past month since the Food Hub opened.
“Membership numbers are rising again. Once people see have where we are and what we’re doing, they have found us,” Mr Davis said.
Memberships for the Food Hub are capped at 300 families and are available to people on Government payments, including pensioners and people on New Start.
Dave hopes to expand the plaza next week by opening the clothing and furniture section to the public.
“We’re planning to open that section next week. And we still want to organise for young people to come in and learn how to cook in the kitchen, we’re working on that as well.”
The Plaza is open Tuesday to Friday 10am to 4pm and Saturdays 9am to 12pm.