MercyCare Bennett Springs helps local families in need through ‘feed it forward’ initiative
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MercyCare Bennett Springs helps local families in need through ‘feed it forward’ initiative

by Freya Lucas

June 30, 2022

With the rising costs of living impacting many Western Australian families, staff from MercyCare‘s Bennett Springs Early Learning Centre have banded together to give back to their local community through supplying baked goods. 

 

To support the initiative Bennett Springs Centre Manager Jacenta Booth and Educator Rita Green visit the local Coles Supermarket in Caversham every Friday morning to collect dozens of bags of bakery goods to offer to families’ whose children attend the centre.

 

Ms Booth was inspired to make a change when she first learnt about the ‘Feed it Forward’ initiative, where people come together to help others in need within their local community, and contacted the SecondBite food rescue program, which partners with food manufacturers and retailers like Coles to save unsold food from landfill by instead distributing it to communities in need.

 

“Times are tough right now – with the cost of living going up, we wanted to find a way to help families at our centre as well as the local community,” she added. 

 

Her actions have inspired her team, with Bennett Springs cleaner Manoj creating a ‘food pantry corner’ at the centre which is stocked with non-perishable food items as a way of further supporting families.

 

“Manoj is from Sri Lanka and he is passionate about giving back to the community and helping others,” Ms Booth explained.

 

“He wanted to help families at the centre so he started to bring in canned food from home, and from there it grew into a pantry corner where families could take food without judgement.”

 

Families have expressed their thanks for the resource in these challenging times, with some being in the fortunate position to contribute to the space and support others in the centre. 

 

These initiatives, Ms Booth said, teach the children through example, highlighting the need to be compassionate, kind to others, and help during times of need. 

 

“We really want to instil those values in the children about being generous and helping others who may not be as fortunate or are going through a difficult time,” she said.

 

“It also teaches them about the joy of giving and how to appreciate the little things in life, such as having a roof over our heads or food on the table.”

 

For more information about SecondBite, visit their website

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