In a little over a year, over 4000 food bundles have been delivered to asylum seeker and refugee families by the local volunteer-run charity West Welcome Wagon.
“It’s an achievement we are really proud of,” says CEO Candice McGregor.
“It equates to almost 40 tonnes of food! Our goal this year is to provide an average 100 food boxes per week of culturally relevant products to our community.”
Currently West Welcome Wagon supports over 800 households of asylum seekers and refugees with their living essentials.
The charity was recently awarded a grant from the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services which has enabled the purchase of a van to strengthen its food program.
“The refugee and asylum seeker community has been particularly impacted by COVID-19 as many are unable to access the support arrangements that are usually available to them,” explains Ms McGregor.
“The last 12 months have been incredibly hard for the families and individuals we support living within the municipalities of Wyndham, Brimbank, Maribyrnong, Hobsons Bay and Moonee Valley.
“Many are employed as casual workers leaving families in unpredictable and uncertain situations. Increased isolation and inherent language issues have further challenged their ability to cope.”
In addition to needing to source whitegoods (particularly fridges), kitchen items and cookware, West Welcome Wagon is currently looking for new volunteers to help them at their warehouse in West Sunshine to pack and deliver food.
Go to westwelcomewagon.org.au/volunteer if you would like to get involved.
Thanks to Tim Watts MP for the space in The Westsider