Food bank to be re-focused

Brisbane Valley churches will look for a new way to deliver food parcels to those in need in the Esk and Toogoolawah community. Picture: ANGLICAN FOCUS

Somerset Regional Council has terminated a partnership with Brisbane Valley churches to deliver food parcels to those in need following a trial period over December 2023 and January 2024.

The matter was raised in the ordinary council meeting on Wednesday 13 March.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Anglican Church Parish of Esk and Toogoolawah to deliver food parcels to those in need, utilising emergency relief funding provided to SRC, through the Department of Treaty Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Partnerships Communities and the Arts.

The Reverend Loretta Tyler-Moss attended a trial review meeting with volunteers from the multi-faith group Churches Working Together, where they decided to seek a ‘better form of delivery’.

“We identified that there is a need for food relief in the Brisbane Valley, but our method of having a face-to-face meeting point delivery station each week was not meeting the needs of people who were seeking food relief,” Rev Tyler-Moss said.

“Our emergency relief parcels also, we felt like they needed to be reduced.”

Rev Tyler-Moss said volunteers were manning a station two hours a week in Toogoolawah and two hours a week in Esk.

“Doing it that way wasn’t getting to the people who needed it in the best form,” she said.

“It needed to be more flexible and less rigid, we were finding there were other people who needed it but couldn’t get there or come in to town at the time.”

Rev Tyler-Moss said out of the food bank trial, the churches have made better working relationships with the CWA and St Vincent de Paul.

“We found that we were duplicating services that were already in place, so we want to work with them more effectively rather than just adding another service in the valley,” she said.

“The biggest takeaway from the trial was that there is an amazing volunteer army from the Brisbane Valley churches together, who are very eager to help meet people’s needs.

“The general Brisbane Valley community is very, very generous, they demonstrated they would like to help people in need as well.”

The food was stored at the former gymnasium building in McConnel Park, Toogoolawah and distributed weekly from the Anglican Church Halls at Esk and Toogoolawah.

SRC officers will also investigate other potential solutions for the use of the former gymnasium building.

Rev Tyler-Moss said there was a ‘conversation happening’ about the future of the service.

“The Brisbane Valley churches together are investigating partnering with some other community organisations,” she said.

“We are looking to the future to continue working together to meet the needs of the community, we’re trying to be sensitive and responsive to what the need is in the community.”