Forget hoarding toilet paper: Shellharbour City Anglican Church is sharing staples with those in need.

Pooling their resources, members were able to provide bags of breakfast supplies and essential groceries to 28 families in their community – a source of comfort in an uncertain time. 

People are in complicated situations 

“It might be hard to see anything positive when Mum and Dad aren’t working, you don’t know when the next money is coming in and there’s only rice or pasta on the shelf,” says Paul, a member of Shellharbour City who works in a local high school and sees first-hand the difficulties some families are facing. 

“Most are working hard to make ends meet,” he says. “These kids come from very complicated family situations.” 

People dropped off food items and money at Shellharbour City church, where bags were packed and delivered to the local high school to be distributed.

This was an obvious way to love the community

Senior minister the Rev Jon Thorpe says it was an extension of existing measures the parish uses to serve the area.

“We already do a community pantry with Anglicare, so this seemed like another obvious opportunity to care for people,” he says. 

Many Church parishes have Anglicare Community pantries which offer food to community members. You can read more about how Anglicare is continuing to care for our communities here. 

“We collected from church members, but we also put it on the local community Facebook pages. Some people weren’t connected to our church but were looking for an opportunity to contribute positively [with] donated goods. It’s part of what we are known for in our community, for trying to support people practically.”

“If the food bag helps someone to know Jesus, far out! How cool would that be?”

Mr Thorpe says that, in practical terms, people are anxious and fearful, and the most important prayer Christians can pray right now is for people to see “how Jesus brings hope and comfort in these uncertain times”. 

“That’s the biggest thing, but we also pray for the practical day-to-day realities – for food and emotional support to be able to carry through this really difficult time. It’s just one way that we can be salt and light.” 

Adds Paul: “I’ve never had a personal experience of being short on food, but my motivation is to hopefully one day see people become Christians. If the food bag helps someone to know Jesus, far out! How cool would that be?”