THE ominous fate of Albany’s Scots Church Craft Market has been rectified with a local organisation putting its hand up to operate the kitchen during market days.
As Weekender readers may recall, Market Liaison Edith Verran put a call out to the public in a bid to find a charitable organisation to supply food during the monthly market (‘Market hanging on’, October 3).
Ms Verran said the food side of the things was one of the major drawcards of the market and without it, the 30-year-old market would close.
It previously took Ms Verran several months to secure a charitable organisation able to operate the kitchen earlier this year, but since the kitchen closed and reopened after renovations a couple of months ago, she has had no further luck in securing a group.
She said just two days after the Weekender article on the market was published, she had two groups express their interest.
“We got a lot of comment back from the article,” Ms Verran said.
“It shows the power of public speaking!
“I think your Weekender is pretty good – it gets around to a lot of places.”
Some of the readers of that article were Helen Ralph and her daughter Tracy Sleeman, the manager of Albany & Regional Volunteer Service.
Ms Sleeman has been part of a project trying to operate a mobile food patrol service in Albany to provide food relief for those in need.
Ms Sleeman thought the Scots Church Craft Market kitchen would be the perfect way to fund this service – the money people pay for food at the market would go directly to funding and maintaining a trailer with a mobile barbecue facility that would drive the mobile food service.
“We thought it would be a nice match,” she said.
“Homelessness is quite prevalent here so we’re hoping to run a four-week trial of the food trailer before Christmas.”
Ms Sleeman, alongside Foodbank, Red Cross Albany and Pivot Support Services, is currently considering a plan to operate the mobile food service two mornings per week near the Old Gaol in town and near the Albany Depression Support Network building on Mokare Road.
This would operate as a ‘breakfast in the park’, potentially from 7am to 8am, providing bacon and egg rolls to those in need.
The next Scots Church Craft Market will be held on October 31 and November 1 from 9am to 3pm, with the kitchen in full swing from 10am to 2pm.