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Saved by parish’s free ‘uber-eats’ meals

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St Joseph’s Somascan  youth pack meals for needy parishioners. Photo: Supplied
St Joseph’s Somascan youth pack meals for needy parishioners. Photo: Supplied

Without the Somascan Fathers providing food for Mere and her large brood of nine, they’d struggle to eat.

Living in her cramped Chipping Norton home with her husband, brother, daughter, son-in-law and five young grandchildren aged between 11 and 5, every day is a struggle.

With her son-in-law the only breadwinner, the Fijian-born family are buckling under the rising cost of living and depend on the St Joseph’s Moorebank parish community to help make ends meet.

“Without the Somascan Fathers and the parish at Chipping Norton I really don’t know how we would survive.”

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Every fortnight, a delivery of groceries, meat and fresh fruit and vegetables is made to the family who describe it as a “Godsend”.

Mere said without their assistance, the family would have to approach other agencies in the area for food or quite simply go hungry.

“I am deeply thankful from my heart for their kindness, it’s a massive help,” Mere smiled.

These fresh and non-perishable goods will go on to feed a family of five in the surrounding suburbs of St Joseph's paarish in Chipping Norton. Photo: Supplied
These fresh and non-perishable goods will go on to feed a family of five in the surrounding suburbs of St Joseph’s paarish in Chipping Norton. Photo: Supplied

“The food they deliver means so much to my family and thank you just isn’t enough to express our profound gratitude.

“Without the Somascan Fathers and the parish at Chipping Norton I really don’t know how we would survive.

“With the price of food increasing and with only one person working in our house, it really is very tough, so knowing we have the support of the parish community is a big, big help in many ways.”

“The need in the area unfortunately doesn’t surprise me due to the rising costs of food and provisions …”

Mere heard about the Miani Meals service via Facebook and are one of many families in the Chipping Norton area relying on the fortnightly food assistance program.

Run by the Somascan Fathers with the help of young adults and their families in the parish, it is akin to a free ‘uber eats delivery service’, Assistant priest Fr Chris de Sousa CRS said Miani Meals was established after he discovered families in his parish were struggling like those in a third-world country.

Born out of COVID lockdown, he said the service continues to grow along with the need in the area.

Fr Chris de Sousa CRS with two of the youth who help with Miani Meals. Photos: Supplied
Fr Chris de Sousa CRS with two of the youth who help with Miani Meals. Photos: Supplied

“Prior to my obedience in Sydney, I was based in our Somascan Mission in Mozambique, Africa, where, as the fourth poorest country in the world, the majority of people going hungry is a heartbreaking reality,” he said.

“It does deeply trouble me that in such an affluent country as Australia, this is also a reality here.

“The need in the area unfortunately doesn’t surprise me due to the rising costs of food and provisions, when individuals and families are trying to place all their earnings into paying the mortgage and rent, keeping their children in school, and affording increased fuel prices to get around, so the only expendable item that remains is food.

“Sadly, we are seeing a notable increase in requests for help, so we hope to get our Miani Meals better known in the community to be able to reach more people …”

“Skipping meals and living off one meal a day therefore becomes an unfortunate option that these individuals and families have to endure.

“Sadly, we are seeing a notable increase in requests for help, so we hope to get our Miani Meals better known in the community to be able to reach more people who are doing it tough.”

If you would like to donate money or provisions to Miani Meals go to: somascanmissions.org.au

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