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Feeding Friends charity ready to help

By Dylan J. Stone

This week is Homelessness Week, and Broken Hill-based charity Feeding Friends has been busy cooking up a variety of meals to distribute to those sleeping rough in our community.

The charity’s founder, Don Barron, says, “homelessness has always been an issue in our community, but it is becoming more identifiable now because those sleeping rough are choosing the security of residing in the main streets over the privacy of residing in the back streets and laneways.”

It is important to recognise that anyone in our community is at risk of being forced to sleep rough – it can take just one more bill or one accident for someone doing it tough to end up on the streets.

As Don says, “it only takes a landlord to sell a property for someone to end up homeless, and this is a tragic issue in Broken Hill due to the chronic lack of available rental housing.”

Feeding Friends was set-up to ensure those sleeping rough have access to hot food that does not require a microwave or other items to serve, and the organisation has already seen surging levels of requests, and support, from the community.

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During peak periods, FF can serve more than 150 meals a week, and, “these meals are going to both those sleeping rough on the streets, and those who are doing it tough,” says Nick Brown, one of the charity’s Steering Committee members.

Don says the organisation can “provide people with a nourishing hot meal that they may not be able to afford or provide themselves otherwise.’”

It’s not just those sleeping rough that get help from FF. Kellie Novello, another member of the organisation’s Steering Committee, told me, “apart from meals, we have been providing other necessary items such as clothing and bedding, and nappies and baby food for domestic violence survivors.”

Those sleeping rough, or doing it tough, don’t only need access to a hot meal, they often require a range of other different types of support, and so community donations of staple items such as these are critical to ensure Feeding Friends can provide a holistic approach to helping those in need.

Because of this, says Mr Brown, Feeding Friends also “provides company to those doing it tough, as a simple chat can certainly brighten someone’s day.”

Feeding Friends is just one organisation that is working to ensure those sleeping rough or doing it tough can maintain their dignity and respect within the community, and they urge anyone who needs help, or wishes to help, call 0498 953 784.

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