Carrum food bank added to community bus route

Published on 05 July 2023

Client Julie stands beside a sign for the Pantry 5000 food bank.

As food affordability continues to worsen everywhere, AccessCare has introduced a new route to its community bus service to help improve access to quality foods.

This new route will see AccessCare clients who are facing financial difficulties and are living in low cost accommodation provided with direct transportation to Pantry 5000 at the Longreach Anglican Parish in Carrum.

Pantry 5000 is a charitable organisation that has been in operation for 11 years, with the help of generous volunteers. They receive food from various supporters, including Foodbank Victoria and Second Bite, which is then available to eligible community members free of charge every Wednesday from 9:30am until 1:00pm.

Currently, AccessCare has organised for its community bus to transport eligible clients to Pantry 5000 every second week. Having now completed its first two journeys, the feedback from clients has been overwhelmingly positive.

“Cost of living pressures are an issue for everyone, especially these woman, and so having the community bus attend Pantry 5000 means these residents can access good quality food”, says Tricia Jasinski, AccessCare’s HACC Care Advisor.

“We only had a few clients signed up on the first week, but they all found the service to be valuable, with all of them coming back the second week, plus a few more!”

The AccessCare community bus is a door-to-door service, meaning that clients with mobility issues don’t have to struggle carrying their bags long distances or up hills. This has proven to be highly beneficial to clients like Julie (pictured), who was one of the first AccessCare clients to use the service. A knee injury has meant that walking has become challenging, so having AccessCare pick her up and drop her off at her front door has been helpful.

As well as being a convenient way to access affordable food, the new service is also a social activity, with clients able to connect with one another on the bus.

“The ladies love having the chance to chat, not just with each other but with our team and bus driver as well,” says Tricia. “We try to make it a fun and welcoming journey.”

The City of Kingston, which manages AccessCare, provides grants to Pantry 5000 to help ensure the future of this service.

While this service is currently only available to residents of the YWCA, AccessCare’s community bus team is regularly reviewing the needs of the community.

AccessCare encourages any community members who are having trouble accessing their local food service provider to contact the AccessCare team on 1300 819 200

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