By Charlotte Wooldridge | posted on March 13, 2020
ALBANY’S Breakfast in the Park program is expanding its service to a third day this week after a successful month of servicing the community.
In the space of five weeks, the Albany Regional and Volunteer Service (ARVS) project has provided food to approximately 150 clients, with more than 30 of those being school-aged children.
ARVS Manager Tracy Sleeman said the community response has been overwhelming, and has allowed the program to include the Lockyer area as of Thursday this week.
“With this whole program, I was expecting us to go out and deliver a breakfast to people who need food relief, however it has become much more than that,” she said.
“We have had residents drop in on their morning walk and ask us how we are going, they are interacting with clients, bringing us flowers to decorate the table and genuinely interested in the program.
“Clients are feeling supported and are now chatting more with us and telling us their stories and giving us great feedback about where we can assist others, hence us also including Lockyer as our next area to support people.”
The program is entirely self-sustained through running the once-a-month Scots Church kitchen, donations and fundraising.
In addition to expanding the service to a third day a week, monetary donations from several businesses have allowed new modifications to the food van, including the installation of an “Ostrich Awning” so the program can continue to operate in the winter months.
Breakfast in the Park is also on the lookout for more volunteers to help run fundraising sausage sizzles at the Shantymen Festival (Saturday, Easter long weekend), Albany Classic (Sunday, May 31) and WA Day (Saturday June 1).
“It’s made all of us who are volunteering more aware of homelessness and the need to support people in need of food relief,” Ms Sleeman said.
“There are a lot of people in our community that are doing it tough and existing services are often stretched to their limit to support people.”
People interested in volunteering, hiring the trailer or wanting more information can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 9841 3588.