Support entities combine to bring food relief to Great Southern Aboriginal families

Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
SAC Family Violence Prevention Legal Service manager Oscar Colbung, Foodbank Albany manager Rod Pfeiffer, and SAC chief executive Asha Bhat.
Camera IconSAC Family Violence Prevention Legal Service manager Oscar Colbung, Foodbank Albany manager Rod Pfeiffer, and SAC chief executive Asha Bhat. Credit: Supplied.

Community support organisations have joined forces to deliver meals and food hampers to Aboriginal families in need across the Great Southern.

In-home and community support organisation Chorus and Foodbank WA have teamed up with Southern Aboriginal Corporation to ensure nobody slips through the cracks of the COVID-19 crisis.

SAC chief executive Asha Bhat said the pandemic had encouraged the team to think differently and collaborate with other organisations to reach elders and families, from Albany to Katanning.

“COVID-19 has generated the necessity for our corporation not only to work differently but also to pool our resources together and pivot the services in a collaborative way,” she said.

“Ours is one of the positive stories that has emerged from this crisis as we are able to find more ways to reach more clients.”

Chorus chief executive Dan Minchin and Southern Aboriginal Corporation chief executive Asha Bhat with a delivery van.
Camera IconChorus chief executive Dan Minchin and Southern Aboriginal Corporation chief executive Asha Bhat with a delivery van. Credit: Supplied.

Ms Bhat said food insecurity was a significant issue facing Noongar elders and was magnified by the pandemic.

“During the lockdown, with a reduction of services and a reduction in access to supplies, food insecurity was increasing,” she said.

“We have several elders in the community who do not have the transport or ability to get to the shops themselves.

“We need to support them to reduce the risk.”

In response, Chorus stepped in to provide free emergency frozen meals prepared in its Albany kitchen for Aboriginal people aged 50 and over.

Foodbank WA has also chipped in 280 hampers to distribute across the central Great Southern region.

Foodbank WA chief executive Greg Hebble said the organisation felt “incredibly proud” to be working with SAC.

“The hampers are filled with food essentials such as rice, pasta and canned fruit and vegetables which are easy to transport and store, and nutritious to eat,” he said.

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