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People in need to access groceries via new kindness initiative

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People in need to access groceries via new kindness initiative

Coast locals encouraged to donate toward grocery vouchers as food charity Gateway sees spike in families needing help.

Caloundra’s Gateway Care launches Random Acts of Community Kindness (RACK) initiative that allows people to purchase vouchers that families can use toward much-needed groceries.

Gateway director, Amanda Peterson says the RACK vouchers are a way to show kindness while providing practical support to families and people on the Sunshine Coast that need help.

“Gateway has over 10,000 families on its database and last year alone, we provided support to 3500 families – an increase of 50 families each week against previous year averages. We know that the cost of food and living can at times exceed what many people can afford and many families are crying out for help.

“In April 2021, Gateway had a further 143 new families join. The number of families we are supporting has increased by 46 per cent over the last five years and reflects the continued growth and need in our community for services for people who are struggling,” Mrs Peterson explains.

Jason Hunt, Member for Caloundra, says he welcomes the initiative and hopes Sunshine Coast residents will show their generosity buying vouchers to support families in need.

“There’s a real need for a service like Gateway and RACK is a great way to practically provide support to families who are struggling to put food on the table. We know throughout the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused additional stress and hardship for many people, but the Sunshine Coast community is strong, and when there’s a need for support, locals chip in. And RACK is the perfect opportunity to do just that,” Mr Hunt says.

Mrs Peterson advises that the RACK vouchers entitle the recipient to $30 off their grocery bill. “With the average daily spend at Gateway being less than this amount, this means that for many people, their daily groceries are covered and for some families, this may be enough to meet half of their regular weekly grocery bill,” she adds.

RACK vouchers are tax deductible and can be purchased at the Gateway Food Centre, by phone or as a donation via the RACK Initiative page on the Gateway website. “Each voucher is worth $30 and people can buy as little or as many vouchers as they like. We’re offering the fourth for free when someone buys three. People can remain anonymous, if desired,” Mrs Peterson says.

Gateway encourages and welcomes individuals and likeminded community groups to support this initiative. To launch this initiative, Gateway will also gift RACK vouchers to various local charity groups including Kyabra, The Salvation Army, Rotary Club, Caloundra and Baringa Community Centres, St Vinnies as well as local, state and federal government agencies.

“We would love the initiative to be ongoing and run indefinitely,” Mrs Peterson adds. “At Gateway Food Centre, we’re all about food and connecting. People don’t care about how much you know until they know how much you care. We want the people of the Sunshine Coast to know that there are people that genuinely care.”

These vouchers can be used in one purchase – for example deduct $30 off total bill, or alternatively the remaining unused balance can be transferred onto a members Gateway Membership Card where they can redeem the credit.

If you would like to purchase vouchers, email amanda@gatewaycare.org.au.

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