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Food will go further thanks to Greater funding

The easing of COVID-19 restrictions across the Mid North Coast is a welcome sign that life as we once knew it is starting to return, however there are still many across the community that are feeling the effects of the pandemic and will require support for some time.

Hastings Neighbourhood Services has been at the forefront of this support over the past 12 months, which makes it a very worthy winner of the October round of Greater Bank’s #GreaterMidNorthCoast community funding program, which this month focused on organisations providing COVID-related support across the region.

For winning the public vote, Hastings Neighbourhood Services received $2000, while runners up The Salvation Army Forster Tuncurry and Hope for the Homeless both received $500.

Hastings Neighbourhood Services Manager Leesa-Rae Harrison said the funding will help with an important program that ensures people across the community don’t go without food.

“Our Food Connect Programs operate at our Wauchope Centre, Port Macquarie Centre and Laurieton site. We have operated through all the disasters and lockdowns making sure that when people struggle to make ends meet they still have access to free fresh fruit and vegetables, bread and milk.” Leesa-rae said.

“On average we assist 100 people per week from households of all types, which includes approximately 130 children and young people.

Leesa-Rae Harrison, Hastings Neighbourhood Services Manager 

“We are looking to purchase some freezers so we can store donated meat and premade meals, which will allow us to receive donations that will go a long way to providing the makings of a more substantial family meal.

“This program is only possible due to the tireless efforts of our volunteers and generous donations, so the Greater funding is very welcome indeed.”

Greater Bank’s Mid North Coast Regional Sales Manager, Jennifer Smith, said COVID-19 had had a major impact on many people.

“Unexpected outcomes like job losses, illness and isolation has seen a spike in demand for assistance from organisations like Hastings Neighbourhood Services,” Jennifer said.

“We know the pandemic has also curtailed fundraising activities for many such organisations so we are pleased to be able to provide some money towards their new freezers.”

Taree Lions Club, Glenreagh Recreation Reserve (Coffs Harbour) and Mid North Coast Cancer Institute Port Macquarie Base Hospital are in contention for a share of $3000 in the November round, which is now open.

The public can cast their vote online at Voting for the November funding round is now open and closes at 5:00pm, Wednesday, 24 November 2021.

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