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Kindness rolls out across emergency accommodation

Kindness rolls out across emergency accommodation

A delivery of some handmade sandwiches and fresh fruit might seem like a small thing, but can mean a great deal when you’re experiencing homelessness and living in emergency motel or hostel accommodation. It’s a reminder that someone cares about you and things will hopefully turn around soon, and a much-welcome opportunity to help the family food budget stretch just that little bit further. 

This is the kindness being shared with Toward Home Alliance clients thanks to the generous efforts of some of the local Greek Orthodox Community in partnership with Lutheran Care. 

The Five Loaves initiative is a national program of the Greek Orthodox Church where church volunteers make food to share with people in need. The initiative began in Melbourne and has now spread to Adelaide, with the local Greek Orthodox Community and Parish of Prophet Elias, Norwood, participating. 

Every few weeks a team of volunteers gets together to prepare fresh sandwiches and rolls that are distributed to clients in emergency accommodation by Lutheran Care’s Toward Home Alliance team. Initially the volunteers were making 100 sandwiches but they have now upped this to 200 per batch.  

A group of energetic ladies meet at the church to butter the bread, and make and wrap the sandwiches. They are an astonishingly effective production line, preparing the 200 sandwiches and rolls in just half an hour, to the soundtrack of their enthusiastic chatter in Greek interspersed with laughter. 

Ham and cheese is on the menu as it doesn’t go soggy and is a great option for a sandwich press for an in-room warming meal or for children to pack in a school lunch.  

The Prophet Elias community has been very supportive of the initiative, contributing financially for purchase of the ingredients, as well as participating in the making of the sandwiches and rolls. Organiser Mary calculates exactly how much of everything is needed so nothing goes to waste.  

Along with the well-stacked boxes of sandwiches and rolls, the church provides huge boxes of fresh apples for distribution. These are purchased by more volunteers, who visit wholesalers or the Adelaide Central Market to find the freshest and best-value fruit. 

According to Mary, the parishioners are finding great joy in being involved and helping families going through tough times. 

“Now we are considering how we may provide further support for these families,” Mary adds. 

One idea they are exploring is a sandwich press/toastie maker drive, so all emergency accommodation clients are able to heat up their sandwiches. 

According to Lutheran Care’s Toward Home Alliance Senior Manager, Homelessness and Housing Services, Kristy Allan, clients receiving the deliveries have responded with joy and gratitude. 

“Our programs at Lutheran Care play an amazing role in supporting community members most in need,” explains Kristy. 

“Programs such as the Toward Home (Homelessness) Alliance and Emergency Relief are supporting more people now than we have ever seen before.  

“Times are tough for more people in our communities and Lutheran Care’s connection to other likeminded people, communities and organisations makes a significant difference to people in need of support.” 

The Toward Home Alliance currently supports more than 80 families in emergency accommodation in motels in the Adelaide CBD and inner and outer southern suburbs.  

“We are also supporting young people in hostels and singles and couples in short term shared stays,” Kristy shares. 

“As you can imagine, living in a motel with limited facilities is a real challenge,” she adds. 

“Storing food in a small fridge with limited or no access to a freezer, and making school lunches and dinner with no cooktop or oven and on a very tight budget, are challenges faced by our people every day.

“The food the Prophet Elias community is so generously and graciously providing is being delivered by our teams straight to the people we are supporting in these programs.”

On behalf of Lutheran Care and our Toward Home clients, a big thank you to the Prophet Elias community for their thoughtfulness, time and support for our community members who are experiencing homelessness. 

Lutheran Care strives to be a warm, inclusive organisation, and welcomes clients, team members, volunteers and supporters from all walks of life, and all faiths – and none. 

If you or your organisation or business would like to work with or supporting Lutheran Care, please explore our website to find out more, or contact communications@lutherancare.org.au