Weston Food Care seeks more volunteers after rise in customers during pandemic

HERE TO HELP: Kingdom Community Church's Pastor Paul DeWildt and Weston Food Care volunteers Marilyn Conn and Bev Donnelly.
HERE TO HELP: Kingdom Community Church's Pastor Paul DeWildt and Weston Food Care volunteers Marilyn Conn and Bev Donnelly.

A service that provides low-cost groceries to disadvantaged people is looking for more volunteers after seeing a noticeable increase in customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Weston Food Care - which is part of Kingdom Community Church's hub on Station Street - serves about 200 customers a week, and also provides parcels for emergency relief referrals.

It works with Foodbank, which sources surplus food, household and personal products from retailers and wholesalers.

People who receive Centrelink benefits or have a Health Care Card are welcome to shop in the store.

The food care service has been running for about 13 years, started by the church's previous pastors Tim and Tania Cairns in Abermain (when the church was known as Vineyards Christian Outreach Centre).

The church moved to Weston three years ago and the service continues - under current senior pastors Paul and Shekinah DeWildt - as part of the church's community care outreach program.

A small team of volunteers work to unpack the deliveries and serve in the shop, which is open Wednesday to Friday.

"During COVID we had a lower volunteer base, but a higher need," Pastor DeWildt said.

"Our whole team here are amazing people.

"We are limited in what we can provide, but we have some really good equipment that has been donated - even some by the volunteers themselves - and we are always looking to make improvements."

The team are looking for like-minded people who want to give back to their community.

"We get more out of working here than we put in," volunteer Marilyn Conn said.

BARGAINS: Weston Op Shop volunteer Robert Hardy. The op shop operates alongside Kingdom Community Church's Food Care outlet in Station Street.

BARGAINS: Weston Op Shop volunteer Robert Hardy. The op shop operates alongside Kingdom Community Church's Food Care outlet in Station Street.

The food care outlet operates alongside an op shop, which stocks a great variety of pre-loved bargains including clothing, knick-knacks, DVDs and more.

Both are open Wednesday to Friday from 9.30am to 1pm at 53-55 Station Street.

Anyone who is interested in volunteering can call into the store during trading hours, or attend the church's service at Weston Civic Centre on Sunday at 10am (find out more at kingdomcc.com.au).

Meanwhile, the church will resume its Friday night youth program on March 5.

The program is for young people aged 12 to 18 and runs from 6.30pm to 8.30pm. Find out more at Kingdom Community Youth on Facebook.